St. Frances played well enough to win last night's Catholic League showdown against John Carroll, with one exception -- fouls.
The No. 8-ranked Panthers sent No. 6 John Carroll to the line 36 times, and the Patriots hit 26 to boost themselves to a 63-55 victory at the College of Notre Dame.
The Panthers (12-2 overall, 2-1 league) scored four more field goals than the winners, including six three-pointers, but the Patriots kept pace at the line. John Carroll center Jenn Westervelt (13 rebounds) scored half of her 24 points on free throws.
The Patriots (11-4, 3-2) hit six of eight free throws in the final minute after the Panthers had pulled within 57-55.
The lead changed hands seven times in the first three quarters, but the Patriots pulled ahead 49-41 on an 8-2 run to end the third quarter. Megan Sparks hit two free throws and Westervelt, Sarah Oktavec and Jenny Biscoe scored on layups including a follow shot by the 5-4 Biscoe.
St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton was not happy with his team's rebounding. Although the Patriots had only a 46-41 edge in total rebounds, the Panthers gave away too many second chances.
"When you're shooting and you're off, that's something you can't control," said Shelton, "but rebounding is effort. We need to be able to do a much better job."
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots took a 55-45 lead on Darby Burke's layup with 4: 13 to go.
Freshman Burke took over the point after Biscoe caught a fingernail across an eyelid and had to sit out the last six minutes. After initial jitters, Burke settled and scored seven of the Patriots' 14 fourth-quarter points, including their only two baskets.
The Panthers rallied with quick defense and five points and a steal from Shanell Watson (15 points). Watson hit a three-pointer and a short jumper before Tiffany Jackson banked one in to pull within 57-55 with 1: 03 to go.
On the next play, Keyonna Maynard (16 points, three three-pointers) fouled Westervelt, who converted one shot. At the other end, Burke fouled Watson, but she missed both shots.
With only 34 seconds left, the Panthers had to foul. Westervelt, Oktavec and Burke then combined to hit five of six free throws in the final 27 seconds.
The Patriots also got a terrific effort from freshman forward Kristen Jasper, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Pub Date: 1/10/98