One and done: Local women’s teams out of NCAAs
Story by Chris Graham
Monica Wright, Dawn Evans and Devon Brown did their parts, but UVa., JMU and Liberty each fell short in their first-round NCAA Tournament games over the weekend.
Wright had 34 points and nine rebounds in her final game as a Cavalier, which saw fifth-seeded Virginia fall 69-67 to 12th-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay on Sunday.
Celeste Hoewisch scored 23 points and Wisconsin-Green Bay let most of a 16-point lead slip away. Virginia forced a slew of late turnovers by turning up its defensive pressure and cut the lead to 64-63 on Ariana Moorer’s two free throws with 32.7 seconds left.
After Wright scored what turned out to be the final basket of her stellar career to draw Virginia to 69-67, the Cavaliers fouled immediately and sent Sarah Eichler to the line with 0.4 on the clock.
After Eichler missed the first shot, coach Matt Bollant ordered her to intentionally miss the second. She did and the buzzer sounded, but the officials conferred and awarded Virginia a timeout with .2 seconds, meaning all the Cavaliers could do after inbounding the ball was tip it.
Paulisha Kellum fired a baseball-type pass into the forecourt and Virginia managed to tip it toward the basket, but the ball bounced away and the game ended with Virginia coach Debbie Ryan screaming for a foul.
Wright broke Dawn Staley’s career scoring record at Virginia and finished with 2,540 points.
Evans led ninth-seeded James Madison with 18 points, but junior guard Shaqwedia Wallace (Wilmington, N.C./Laney) and sophomore forward Kristien McCarthy (La Puente, Calif./Bishop Amat) combined for 27 second-half points as #8 seed Temple held off the Dukes for a 65-53 victory on Sunday.
JMU, which trailed by as many as 14 points during the opening half, pulled to within three points on three occasions early during the final period and to within four points four more times, but never got closer.
No. 13 seed Liberty gave No. 4 seed Kentucky a major battle on Saturday afternoon at Freedom Hall before falling 83-77.
The Flames jumped out to an early 13-4 lead and led 35-33 at the break. Kentucky outscored Liberty 30-18 in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to take control.
Brown, a 2008 Waynesboro High School graduate, scored 24 points for Liberty.