Seton Keough stifles Mercy, 37-31

January 30, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

Top-ranked Seton Keough yesterday showed how a team can shoot 28 percent and still win a basketball game.

Seton Keough used an aggressive man-to-man defense that limited No. 15 Mercy to just 20-percent shooting from the field, and the Gators hung on for a 37-31 victory over the host Magic in a Catholic League game.

The Gators swarmed all over Mercy (14-7, 4-5) and rarely gave the Magic any good looks at the basket.

Mercy finished 10 of 49 from the field -- and the Magic needed to hit four of their last six shots to do that well.

Seton Keough (14-2, 4-0) put so much pressure on the Magic that it missed 29 of 30 over a stretch of 20:08 from early in the first quarter until late in the third. The Gators also held Shannon Cohen to a season-low seven points.

"That's one of the main points we practice -- defense," said the Gators' Andrea Pinheiro. "This is one of the better games we've had defensively."

But Mercy -- without second-leading scorer Ashlee Courter due to a knee injury -- kept things close with some strong defense of its own. Using a triangle-and-two zone, Mercy blocked passing lanes and stopped the Gators from driving to the basket.

"We know they're a very good slashing and driving team," said Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion. "We wanted to force the outside shot."

They did, and Seton Keough wound up making only 14 of 50 shots.

Still, the Gators managed to build a 10-point lead early in the second half before Mercy rallied behind Cohen, Jamie Vogtman (10 points, 14 rebounds) and Beth Simmons (eight points).

Mercy made it a 34-31 game with 22 seconds left. The Magic then turned the ball over and saw Charity Carbine make a free throw with 13 seconds left for the Gators. Pinheiro hit a layup at the buzzer.

The Gators got good efforts from Pinheiro (10 points), Melanie Morris (nine points) and Meghan Donovan (eight points).

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