Magic shows Towson no mercy, 65-36 Mercy's 25-2 run buries turnover-prone Generals

Girls basketball

December 12, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Talk about responding to adversity.

Challenged for the first time this season by upset-minded Towson last night, the host Mercy Magic showed why they're the area's top-ranked team, holding the 13th-ranked Generals to one field goal in the final 10 1/2 minutes in a 65-36 victory.

Leading 36-30 with 2: 28 left in the third quarter, Mercy (4-0) shifted gears and blew the Generals off the court with a 25-2 run over the next seven minutes. The Magic could do little wrong during the stretch, making 10 of 12 shots and forcing 11 turnovers.

"It got too close," said guard Ashlee Courter. "We knew we had to pick up the defense and crash the boards more. They're a good team that is capable of beating us, so we just had to step it up."

Said Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion: "Our offense was stagnant and we were very bunched. We talked about spreading the floor, setting screens and moving the ball as a team. We had to spread the court to utilize the talents we have out there."

As Towson (2-1) learned, those talents appear to be many.

Courter scored a game-high 16 points, doing everything from driving the lane to hitting long-range jumpers, but she was just one of four Mercy players in double figures. Forward Jamie Vogtman and point guard Abby Pyzik had 14 and center Becky Wilson added 12, helping the Magic to shoot 56 percent for the game.

Just as dominant as Mercy's offense, however, was the Magic defense, which forced 28 turnovers and held Towson to 1-for-11 shooting over the final 10 minutes. After climbing back from an early 12-point deficit to make a game of it, the Generals repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with sloppy ball handling and poor shot selection.

"We just couldn't get the ball in the basket, and turnovers killed us," Towson coach Bev Snyder said. "They obviously played a better game than we did, but the final score wasn't a good indication of how the game went."

Guard Sara Lev led the Generals with 10 points; forward Jaimee Reynolds added nine.

Mercy has no time to rest, with St. John's Prospect Hall, the Frederick power, the next opponent at 8 tonight in the annual Pre-Christmas Mixer tournament at the College of Notre Dame. Players say that being No. 1 hasn't diminished the importance of the task at hand.

Pub Date: 12/12/97

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