St. Mary's Women's Basketball Suffers Setback at No. 8 Lebanon Valley

Raven Owens
Raven Owens

Annville, Pa. – In their first contest since a 70-41 win at Hood College on December 10, the St. Mary's College of Maryland women's basketball team featured three players in double figures but 50 first half points propelled No. 8 Lebanon Valley College to a 78-64 non-conference victory Tuesday afternoon.

Sophomore Raven Owens (Arnold, Md./Severn School) paced the Seahawk offense with 16 points while fellow classmate Shana Lewis (Bowie, Md./Bowie) tallied 15 points and a team-best six rebounds.  Junior forward Joanna Murray (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) also scored in double digits as Murray picked up 13 points.

Lebanon Valley (9-0), who owns the No. 1 field goal percentage defense in Division III and holds opponents to an average 26.1 field goal percentage, found it difficult to contain the Seahawk offense in the second half and St. Mary's whittled down an 18-point deficit to six (64-58) with 8:30 remaining.  The Flying Dutchmen sealed up the win with a 12-2 run over a six-minute span to boast a 76-60 lead at 2:31.

St. Mary's (3-7) put forth its best offensive effort thus far this season as the Seahawks finished the contest shooting 40.7% from the field, including a season-best 57.1% (4-of-7) from downtown in the first half and a season second-best 44.4% from the field in the second stanza.

The Seahawks hung tough with the top 10 powerhouse in the first half as Lebanon Valley did not lead by double-digits until the final six minutes of the half when the Flying Dutchmen went on a 12-2 run to establish a 37-24 lead (25:00) after an Owens' three-pointer at 8:33 had closed the gap to three.  LVC's dominance inside the paint allowed the home team a 50-36 halftime advantage.

Owens paced all players at intermission with 14 points while Lewis notched 11 first-half points.  For Lebanon Valley, junior guard Tierney Hiltz (York, Pa.) led her squad with 13 points while sophomore guard Caitlin Bach (Manchester, Md./North Carroll) added nine points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

St. Mary's will enjoy the holiday break before traveling to Rochester, N.Y. to compete in the Nazareth College Holiday Tournament on Friday-Saturday, December 30-31.  The Seahawks will take on Susquehanna University (2-7) on Friday at 6:00 pm while host Nazareth (4-3) will square off against John Jay College of Criminal Justice (3-4) at 8:00 pm.

The consolation game will be played the next day at 1:00 pm followed by the championship game at 3:00 pm.