Wasps Fall to Messiah in NCAA Women's Basketball Second Round

Wasps Fall to Messiah in NCAA Women's Basketball Second Round

GRANTHAM, Pa. --- The Emory & Henry College Women's Basketball Team (23-7) saw its historical season come to a close Saturday evening as No. 12 Messiah College earned a 62-49 win in the NCAA Division III Tournament Second Round. With the victory, the Falcons advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013.

The Basics
FINAL SCORE – No. 12 Messiah 62, Emory & Henry 49
LOCATION – Grantham, Pennsylvania
VENUE – Jordan Court at Hitchcock Arena
RECORDS – Emory & Henry (23-7, 13-3 ODAC); Messiah (27-2, 15-1 MAC Commonwealth)

How It Happened
- Messiah jumped out to a 9-2 lead at the 5:48 mark of the opening period but Emory & Henry stormed back with a 10-2 run to take a 12-11 advantage just 3:28 later. The Falcons would hold a 16-12 margin after one.
- In the second frame, E&H went on a 13-1 run for a 29-19 lead with 1:30 to go before the break. MC scored the last eight points of the half, however make the halftime score 29-27.
- Returning to action, Messiah went on a 13-4 scoring drive over the first six minutes of the third period to lead, 40-33. The Falcons extended their margin to 11 (47-36) before the Wasps got within 49-40 with 10 minutes left to play.
- MC took advantage of 9-of-10 free throw shooting in the fourth period as it pulled away from E&H for the 62-49 final score and a berth in the NCAA Division III Sweet 16.

Emory & Henry Individual Leaders
- Sophomore forward Kara Stafford (Bristol, Tenn.) led the Wasps with 14 points, hitting all six of her three throws, and added five rebounds.
- Sophomore forward Sydney McKinney (Big Stone Gap, Va.) had 11 points and two rebounds while junior forward Laken Blackburn (Wilkesboro, N.C.) put up eight points and two assists off the bench.
- Junior guard Chloe Harris (Bristol, Va.) contributed seven points, six rebounds and four assists.

Messiah Individual Leaders
- Maci Thornton had a game-high 20 points with four three-pointers, and added four steals while Leah Springer put up 17 points and six rebounds.
- Kaitlyn Hoff tallied 12 points, two assists and three steals while Kristen Smoluk went for eight points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals.

A Deeper Look
- Emory & Henry went 19-for-42 (45.2%) during the game with a trio of three-pointers. The Wasps were a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line.
- Messiah made just 35.7 percent (20-of-56) of its shots with five triples. The Falcons got a big boost at the stripe, scoring 17 points on 81 percent shooting.
- E&H held a 33-27 rebounding advantage, but 10 offensive rebounds by MC resulted in a 15-7 lead on second-chance points.
- The Falcons led 32-10 on points off turnovers, claiming 18 steals on 26 Wasp slipups.
- Emory & Henry led 22-16 on points in the paint.

The Interviews

Looking Back
- Emory & Henry concludes the 2017-18 season with a 23-7 overall record, setting a new program record for wins in a season.
- The Wasps finished first outright in the ODAC for the first time and reached the championship game of the ODAC Tournament for the first time since 2001.
- Junior forward Taylor Blevins (Abingdon, Va.) and McKinney were named to the All-ODAC First and Second Teams, respectively, as Blevins joined the 1,000-point club in the final game of the regular season.

--- This release is courtesy of the Emory & Henry College sports information department. ---