Hopkins women fall in 1st round

King's prevails, 60-57, in Division III tournament

March 02, 2000|By Bo Smolka | Bo Smolka,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In the end, the team trying to establish tradition outdid the team steeped in it.

King's College, making its first appearance in the NCAA Division III women's tournament, defeated Johns Hopkins, 60-57, last night, as Monarchs freshman Nikki Kingston made a decisive three-pointer with 14 seconds left.

Hopkins (21-6), making its sixth straight trip to the NCAA tournament, had two possessions after Kingston's basket but couldn't answer. Leslie Ritter's 10-footer from the right side rimmed out with four seconds left, and after two King's free throws, Ritter shot a three-pointer at the buzzer that also bounced off the rim.

Hopkins, the No. 4 seed in the Mid-Atlantic Region, was led by Marjahna Segers with 14 points. Freshman Lauren Martin (Glenelg) scored all 11 of her points in the second half to spark a Hopkins comeback. Joanne Polakoski, a finalist for national Division III Player of the Year, had 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead King's (23-5), the No. 5 seed.

"To beat a team with the history of Hopkins is very big for our program," said King's coach Bryan Whitten.

King's, from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., stormed to a 10-2 lead in the opening three minutes, then maintained its composure even as the Blue Jays erased a seven-point second-half deficit.

Martin, a backup guard, scored two baskets 27 seconds apart to tie the game at 39 with 12: 58 left. She later capped a 10-2 Hopkins run with a three-pointer that gave the Blue Jays a 45-41 lead.

But Polakoski twice scored on backdoor cuts as King's battled back to tie the game at 51.

"Those two backdoor cuts really hurt us," Hopkins coach Nancy Blank said, "because we were building a lead at that point."

The Blue Jays led 57-55 in the final minute, but with the shot clock winding down, Ritter missed a jumper with 29 seconds left.

That set the stage for Kingston, who took a pass from Denise Igo and sank her only three-pointer of the game with 14 seconds left for a 58-57 Monarchs lead.

On the next Hopkins possession, Ritter drove the right side, but her running jumper rimmed out and Igo hauled in the rebound.

"It was a clear-out play, and I was supposed to take it to the basket," said Ritter, the Blue Jays point guard whose marvelous career ended with the loss. "Right at the last second, someone stepped over to help, and that made my shot a lot tougher."

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