CARLISLE, PA – Dickinson's Belma Mekic scored a game-best 22 points and canned two free throws with two seconds left to cap a 16-8 game closing rally in the final 5:41 of the game to turn a 47-40 deficit into a 56-55 win over visiting Washington College in Centennial Conference women's basketball action at the Kline Center on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils improve to 12-8 overall and 8-8 in the Centennial, while the Shorewomen drop to 10-11 and 8-8 respectively.
Washington led 50-49 with 2:24 left on a three-pointer by Kelly Mitchell (Laurel, MD/Academy of the Holy Cross) that ended a 9-0 run by Dickinson. The Red Devils scored on a layup by Dana Walsh with 2:01 to go to take a 51-50 lead. The Shorewomen tied the game at 51-51 with 1:52 remaining in the second half on a free throw by freshman guard Ashley Espinosa (Reading, PA/Governor Mifflin). Dickinson's Bridget Borgese was fouled on the next possession and drained two free throws to put Dickinson back up 53-51 with 1:36 remaining. Espinosa was fouled with 1:19 left and missed both free throws, but freshman forward Carley Kendall (Harleysville, PA/Souderton Area) grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Kendall went to foul line and sank both to knot the game at 53-53. Dickinson missed a jumper on its next possession and Washington got the rebound with 50 seconds left. The Shorewomen were able to get the offensive rebound after a blocked shot and junior guard Claire Mattox (Arlington, VA/Potomac School) converted a floater in the paint with 20 seconds left to put WC up 55-53. On Dickinson's next possession, Walsh missed a jumper and the loose ball was a tied ball and the possession arrow favored Dickinson. Walsh was fouled on her drive to the basket and was awarded two free throws with four ticks left. Walsh made the first free throw, but missed the second and junior forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, VA/Indian River) grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 2.8 seconds left and WC was up 55-54. Pledger missed the free throw on the front end of the one-and-one situation and then fouled Mekic on the rebound with two seconds left. Mekic made the first to tie it at 55-55 and then made the second to put Dickinson up 56-55. Mekic then stole the desperation pass by the Shorewomen and the Red Devils held on for the victory.
Washington took a 14-12 lead with 10:46 left in the first half on a fast-break layup by Kendall before Dickinson went on a 11-4 run with 3:12 left in the opening half on a Borgese three-pointer to take a 23-18 lead. Dickinson took a 25-21 lead into halftime as Walsh scored on a layup with three seconds left to close out the first half scoring.
The Shorewomen scored 11 of the first 14 points to begin the second half to take a 32-28 lead with 16:55 left in the contest on a three-pointer by Mattox. The Red Devils would respond with a 6-1 run to take a 34-33 lead with 13:23 left in the game on a basket by Mekic. The Shorewomen trailed 40-39 and used an 8-0 run to take a 47-40 lead with 5:41 left in the game on a triple by Mitchell. However Dickinson scored seven unanswered points to tie the contest at 47-47 with 3:48 to go on a traditional three-point play by Lindsay Finnerty. The Red Devils took the lead and capped a 9-0 run on a jumper by Mekic to lead 49-47 with 2:51 left. The Shorewomen responded with a three-pointer by Mitchell to end the run regain the lead at 50-49 with 2:24 left.
In addition to Mekic, Borgese had 12 points, while Walsh added 10 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The Red Devils shot 38% from the floor (19-for-50), 25% from three-point land (1-for-4) and 68% from the foul line (17-for-25). Dickinson had just 10 turnovers in the game, while forcing 19 Washington turnovers, but only held a 16-14 edge in points off turnovers.
Mitchell led Washington with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Espinosa added 12 points, while Pledger recorded a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior center Erin Kile (Benton, PA/Benton Area) tied her career-high with four blocks. It is the fourth time she has rejected four shots in a game, the second time against Dickinson as she also blocked four Red Devil attempts on January 13, 2011. Washington shot 39% from the floor (22-for-56), 40% from three-point land (6-for-15) and 46% from the foul line (5-for-11). WC held a 43-29 advantage in rebounds. The Shorewomen held a 21-4 edge in bench points and 15-10 in second chance points.
Washington will be back in action on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. versus visiting Swarthmore in conference action in the team's annual "Pink Game." The Shorewomen will be selling t-shirts at the game to raise funds and are accepting donation pledges for every made free throw or ever made three-pointer throughout the course of the game. Proceeds from this year's "Pink Game" will go to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC²).