Gators withstand 4th-quarter rally

Down by 13, Wildcats run out of time

No. 3 Seton Keough 48 No. 4 Arundel 47

Girls basketball

December 23, 2006|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

In one of the biggest nonconference games of the early season, No. 3 Seton Keough was able to withstand a furious fourth-quarter rally by No. 4 Arundel to win, 48-47, last night.

The visiting Wildcats trailed by 13 points at the end of the third quarter, but relentless pressure by their defense and some clutch three-point shooting by Brittany Watts and Ayanna Randolph allowed the Wildcats to nearly overtake Seton Keough in the game's closing seconds.

Asya Bussie was the difference for the Gators, with a game-high 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

"I was a little disappointed that they were able to come back, but I am just glad that we got the win," Bussie said. "We matched up pretty well with them because we both have some big players and some good guards. We are also close in the rankings, so this is a great win for us."

Seton Keough (8-2) scored the first nine points of the game and did not allow a basket until 3:54 remained in the first quarter. The Wildcats had trouble breaking down the Gators' press and struggled to move the ball in the man-to-man defense.

The Gators enjoyed a double-digit lead until there was 6:12 left in the game, when the Wildcats' Simone Egwu made two free throws.

Arundel (3-2) then relentlessly pressured Seton Keough and forced several turnovers and off-balance shots in the final minutes. A three-pointer by Watts (nine points) with 23 seconds left cut the deficit to 46-44. On the next possession, the Gators' Kathy McLaughlin (11 points, four assists) appeared to have iced the game by making two free throws with 10.6 seconds left.

However, Randolph (13 points) made another three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left to cut the gap to one, but the Wildcats ran out of time.

"We showed a lot of grit, but we didn't get over the hump," Arundel coach Lee Rogers said. "We are going in the right direction, and that is what counts. This was a good early test for our kids and they responded well."

Arika Ullman, with four three-pointers in the first half, also had a big game for the Gators.

"I think this gives us some great momentum to carry on in the second half of the season," Gators coach Jackie Boswell said.

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