McDaniel, Hopkins women take next step

Drained basketball teams start Division III playoffs



March 03, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Running on fumes and riding on emotions.

That's the condition of the McDaniel and Johns Hopkins women's basketball teams tonight as they head into the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament on their home courts.

McDaniel (23-3) will meet Pitt-Greensburg (22-6) at 7 at the Gill Center in Westminster, and Hopkins (23-3) will play Alvernia (21-7) at 7 at Goldfarb Gym.

The No. 22 Green Terror and the No. 7 Blue Jays are not only playing their third pressure-packed game in five days, but they're also coming off Sunday's emotional showdown for the Centennial Conference title at Hopkins.

In that matchup, the Green Terror erased a 12-point second-half deficit to defeat the Blue Jays, 59-57, for the second time in three meetings this season and end a 21-game home-court winning streak for Hopkins.

In Saturday's semifinals, McDaniel defeated Muhlenberg, 83-76, and Hopkins beat Franklin & Marshall, 85-76.

"We've been on an emotional roller coaster the last few days," said Hopkins coach Nancy Funk. "I was peeling our girls off the wall after that game Sunday."

The loss to McDaniel left Funk and the Blue Jays so upset that they could barely wait to get a chance to make amends.

"We're so grateful for a second chance in the tournament," said Funk, whose team received an at-large bid Sunday night, shortly after the Toby McIntire-led McDaniel squad walked off with the automatic berth that goes to the Centennial champion.

McIntire, the senior captain and point guard who will be commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army in May, continued to play inspired ball down the stretch of her memorable collegiate career. She scored a team-high 14 points and had eight rebounds, five steals and three assists.

"I had no legs Sunday after that Muhlenberg game," McIntire said. "I just played on adrenaline and because I don't want my career to end anytime soon. That is what will carry me through the NCAAs."

There is another major incentive these days for McIntire and her teammates.

"We're driven by the rankings [ Top 25 poll]," she said. "We just don't understand why we're only No. 22 and Hopkins is No. 7. There's not that much difference between us."

McDaniel coach Becky Martin said she has told her players several times to never leave their "fate in the hands of a committee that votes."

"We've had a fantastic year as a team that plays together as one body, heart, and soul," said Martin. "With all the bad things that are happening at the Division I level, I think people should really appreciate that these girls at Hopkins and McDaniel are truly in school for all the right reasons."

Hopkins men in ECACs

The Johns Hopkins men's basketball team (17-9) has been named a fifth seed in the ECAC Division III South tournament.

The Blue Jays will travel to Reading, Pa., tonight to meet fourth-seeded Albright in a 7 p.m. quarterfinal.

Hopkins received the ECAC bid after losing to No. 11 Franklin & Marshall, 69-58, Sunday in the Centennial Conference championship game.

Junior forward Eric Toback leads the Jays with a 16.0 scoring average. Freshman Danny Nawrocki is averaging 13.5 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds.

Et cetera

Morgan State has named Earl Davis as its football team's running backs coach. Davis replaces Michael Gunthrop, who becomes coach of the offensive tackles and tight ends, in addition to his offensive coordinator duties.

Towson's gymnastics team improved its record to 10-7 this season with a 195.450-191.200 victory over William and Mary on Friday night at the Towson Center. Freshman Stacie Hogan and sophomore Jen Beekman led the Tigers, with Hogan taking first in floor exercise (9.90) and tying for first in the vault with a season-high 9.825 score. Beekman was first in all-around with a career-best 38.85 points.

College of Notre Dame senior Becca Parrow closed her swimming career by establishing a school record of 55.77 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle, giving her third place in the Atlantic States championships. Earlier this season, she led CND to a sixth Atlantic Women's Colleges Conference title in nine years and was named the AWCC's Most Outstanding Swimmer for a third straight season.

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