DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The No. 14 Marymount University women's basketball team wrapped up their trip to Florida on Saturday evening with a 60-56 victory over Lynchburg University.
With a lead for almost 39 of the 40 minutes of the game, the Saints bounced back into the win column with their ninth victory of the season, now sitting 9-2 to end the 2019 portion of their schedule.
Although the Hornets remained in striking distance for much of the game, MU took an early lead in the first quarter and held it for the rest of the contest. Sophomore Katie McShea got the scoring underway for the blue and white, pulling in an offensive board and putting it back for a contested layup.
That was the start of a night that had her cruise to a game-high 19 points and game-high 12 rebounds for her seventh double-double in 11 games. She's currently averaging 17 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor. With seven double-doubles, she currently ranks in the top four in the country.
The only lead the Hornets had for the contest was at 3-2 in the first quarter, but the Saints followed with six-straight points to takeover the lead for the remainder of the game. The stretch had three layups made by McShea and juniors Taylor Love and Aidan Phillips.
By the half, the Saints held a slight five-point edge, 40-35, shooting 55.6 percent from the floor including a perfect 2-for-2 from deep with buckets from senior Abby Fisher and junior Ananda Claggett.
With less scoring for Marymount in the second half, only scoring 20 points, it was the defensive front by the eighth-ranked scoring defense in the country that paved the way to the victory. Through the final two quarters, two blocks by McShea and seven total steals helped the Saints into forcing Lynchburg into nine second-half turnovers.
Down the stretch in the closing minutes of the game, the Hornets used 1-of-2 free throws to get within two points of sending the game to extra time. With another opportunity to tie or take the lead, Lynchburg missed on a layup and three-point opportunity. Following the three-point miss, Love reeled in her ninth rebounds of the game and McShea converted into a jumper on the other end to ultimately seal up the four-point win.
Off the bench, Claggett and Love chipped in double-digit scoring performances with 12 and 10, respectively. Love missed a double-double by just one rebound, pulling in nine defensive boards and one offensive.
The Saints will travel back home to enjoy the holiday season before jumping back into competition on January 4-5 at the Jamie Lynn Roberts Tournament, hosted by Catholic University. MU will take on King's (Pa.) on Saturday, January 4 at 1 p.m.