Visiting Seton Keough had all the early-season answers last night in Gambrills, continually staying a step ahead of No. 4 Arundel to come away with a comfortable 59-44 win.
The No. 7 Gators (3-0) were first to the boards, a step ahead of the Wildcats' pressing defense and able to hit the big shot when needed to put Arundel (1-1) away in the second half.
Denise King led the way with a game-high 16 points for the Gators, who got strong inside play defensively from Sarah Walsh, Laura Stromberg and Jackie Valderas.
"Arundel likes to get after you, that's why we like coming up here early in the season," said Seton Keough coach Jim Stromberg. "I think we came prepared and moved the ball pretty well most of the time. We also did a good job of defensive rebounding."
The start of the second quarter was also the start of the end for the Wildcats last night. Trailing 17-13 going into the period, they missed on their first four shots and also had three turnovers in the stretch as the Gators built a 22-13 lead.
Things didn't get any better for the Wildcats early in the third quarter when they once again couldn't find any offensive flow in a concentrated effort to get the ball inside. Their only field goal of the quarter came on Najmah Fauntleroy's short turnaround with 4: 53 left, closing the Gators lead to 32-22.
On the very next possession, Nikki Brown drove the lane and was fouled, giving the Gators a 35-22 lead. They put it away from the outside early in the fourth quarter, getting a three-pointer from Meaghan Allan and then a four-point play from Stromberg, who was fouled after hitting a three.
"We didn't work tonight -- that's very disappointing. We have a long way to go," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers. "Win or lose, I expect a better effort. We knew they would play man-to-man and be physical and we let them push us around. They did a better job on defense and were more patient with their offense. It's early, so hopefully we can learn from this and fix some things."
Seniors Meagan Rollins and Shaunte Edmonds both scored 10 points to lead Arundel, and sophomore Jill Marano finished with nine.
The Wildcats spent a lot of the night at the free-throw line, hitting 22 of 38, but finishing with only 10 field goals.
Pub Date: 12/09/98