Mercy's march to line fouls St. Frances' plans No. 7 Magic hits 26 of 33 free shots in 65-48 win

January 17, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For the third straight time, No. 9-ranked St. Frances lost a tight game at the free throw line -- not its own, but its opponent's.

The Panthers sent No. 7 Mercy to the line 33 times yesterday and the Magic hit 26, including 11 in the fourth quarter, to turn a three-point game into a 65-48 victory at the College of Notre Dame.

Just as they had against unranked City in Wednesday's 64-61 overtime loss and against No. 6 John Carroll in last week's 65-53 defeat, the Panthers outscored their foe from the field. They hit 20 field goals to the Magic's 19.

But the Panthers were called for 24 fouls, including 15 in the second half. They put the Magic in a bonus situation with 2: 10 left in the third quarter and in the double bonus to start the fourth quarter.

"We just can't seem to control our fouling," said Panthers senior Nillion Lambert. "We tried to maintain our aggressive defense, and it just slipped."

The Panthers also had trouble with Mercy's inside game in yesterday's Catholic League contest. Mercy's 5-11 pair of Jamie Vogtman and Becky Wilson combined for 46 points and 22 rebounds.

"It was a mismatch in there," said Lambert, who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds but had a tough time trying to control Vogtman. "Some of us had to play out of position, and I had to play a post player, which I'm not used to doing. We tried to PTC match up on defense, but we really couldn't."

Vogtman, the Baltimore City-County Player of the Year last winter, scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Wilson had 18 points and eight rebounds.

No other Magic player scored more than a single field goal, but Kaitie Schuyler and Ashlee Courter went a combined 10-for-10 from the line.

Despite the fouls, the Panthers (12-4, 2-2 Catholic League) managed to stay close into the final three minutes.

The game's first 21 minutes featured 10 lead changes and four ties. The last tie came at 33 with 2: 41 left in the third quarter. Neither team led by more than five points until Courter fed Vogtman at the buzzer, and the Magic took a 42-35 lead into the final quarter.

After the Magic (13-5, 5-1) pulled ahead 49-41, the Panthers again rallied to within three. Shanell Watson (14 points) hit a layup and Shanika Wallace (10 points) nailed a three-pointer to cut Mercy's edge to 49-46 with 5: 47 to go.

Vogtman then snapped the momentum when she took Courter's inbound pass from the sideline and drove 25 feet to the basket uncontested. That sparked a 17-2 game-ending run for the Magic, including eight of eight free throws.

"This is a great win for us," said Vogtman, whose team next travels to meet No. 3 St. Mary's, the only team unbeaten in the Catholic League. "We needed this win to go on to St. Mary's. We can't go against a team like that coming off a loss. That's our biggest game, and with this intensity and this confidence, we're prepared."

Pub Date: 1/17/98

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