Hot from outside, Western burns Woodlawn, 70-56

December 21, 2010|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Western's basketball team showed it has no problem compensating for the loss of its best inside threat for at least another month. The Doves will just light it up from the outside.

Tuesday night against No. 12 Woodlawn, the No. 10 Doves hit nine three-pointers and held off a second-half surge from the visiting Warriors to take a 70-56 nonleague victory.

Tenicia Spence hit four three-pointers and had 20 points. Taylor Carter hit two 3-pointers and scored 10 points while freshman guard Kelli Smoot contributed two 3-pointers.

Doves coach Tiffany Silver said her team doesn't plan to live and die by the three, but it's nice to have accurate perimeter shooting while veteran 6-foot-2 forward Brielle Ward recovers from a shoulder injury. Among Silver's active players, only two are taller than 5 feet 9, but neither is 6 feet.

"With our size, most teams will probably play us in a zone," Silver said, "so our key is to shoot them out of the zone. It worked tonight, but we definitely won't live by it."

The Doves (4-1) hit five of their first six shots — all jump shots, including two 3-pointers by Spence and one from Carter. That fueled a 23-9 start, but the Warriors (3-2) began to rally midway through the second quarter and cut the lead to 25-23 on Shadequa Longus' runner 2:45 before halftime.

Carter's short jumper, however, sparked an 8-1 finish to the quarter for the Doves, who led 33-24 at the half. Later, Western ran its lead to 58-38 when Raiya McKnight converted a steal 36 seconds into the fourth quarter.

By the fourth quarter, the Doves had finally shot the Warriors out of their zone, but Woodlawn put the clamps on Western's 3-point shooting with the man-to-man defense. The Doves took a while to adjust to the man coverage and the Warriors rolled through a 14-2 run. Longus scored 10 of her 20 points as the Warriors pulled within 60-52 with 2:36 to go.

Woodlawn coach Vanessa Locke said she wished she had made the switch from the zone sooner. The Warriors' comeback stalled when Spence hit a baseline jumper with 2:20 left. After that, the Warriors could not cut the lead below eight.

"At halftime I thought about switching [defenses] and I second guessed myself," Locke said. "I respected their game just a little bit too much as far as playing them man-to-man. If I had gone to that earlier, we probably would have been in the game at the end of the fourth quarter."

WO—Lane 8, Longus 20, Williamson 2, Sessoms 2, Loving 2, Brown 14, Dawson 6, Carter 2. Totals 17 19-33 56.

WE—Murray 14, Spence 24, Booth 2, McKnight 9, Carter 10, Smoot 6, Gibson 4, Taylor 1. Totals 25 11-20 70. Half: We, 33-24.

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