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Women's basketball wins fifth-straight, 54-51, over No. 8 Messiah

Women's basketball wins fifth-straight, 54-51, over No. 8 Messiah

ARLINGTON, Va. – The No. 14 Marymount University women's basketball team topped No. 8 Messiah College, 54-51, on Saturday afternoon at the Converse Family Fieldhouse to open the season with its fifth-straight win.

The Saints got off to a quick start with a 12-4 first quarter, while holding the Falcons to only 12 points in the first half.

Layups from graduate Abby Fisher and senior Gabriella Haddad opened the game, 4-0, for Marymount. Fisher led the team with six points in the first quarter, going 2-for-3 from the field and from the free-throw line.

Through the first part of the second quarter, Messiah cut into the Saints lead, 16-12, but Marymount ended on a 10-0 run in the first half.

Junior Ananda Claggett started the run with a three-point play, scoring a layup, before hitting the subsequent free throw. A layup from junior Kathryn Ryan capped the run and took the Saints into halftime, ahead 26-12.

Fisher added five more points in the second quarter to lead the team with 11 at the half. The team continued to be strong inside, scoring 16 points in the paint.

Messiah came out strong to start the second half, outscoring the Saints, 17-9, in the third quarter to cut the Marymount lead to 35-29, setting up a tight fourth quarter.

The Falcons were able to further cut into the Saints' lead, 37-35, but pairs for free throws from sophomore Katie McShea and junior Aidan Phillips bumped the advantage back to six, with 3:31 to play.

The Saints continued to be strong at the charity stripe, as Messiah tried to fight back in the final minutes. After a layup from Haddad to bring the Marymount lead to 44-39, with 2:19 to go, Phillips and Fisher, each, hit four free throws, while Hadded added two in the last two minutes to secure the win.

Fisher led the team with a career-high 15 points, while McShea added 13 points and 12 rebounds for her third-straight double-double. Fisher added another career high, with nine rebounds.

The team finished the game 24-for-28 from the free-throw line.

Marymount will return to the Converse Family Fieldhouse on Tuesday, November 26 against Stevenson University; the opening tip is set for 6 p.m.