"Give Rochester a lot of credit. They came out and punched us in the mouth right away in the first half."
Led by Ka'aikala, who scored 14 of her game-high 29 points in the first half, Rochester built a 29-21 halftime advantage. A key was a 10-0 run after the teams were tied 8-8.
"I thought the last 10 minutes of the first half we were able to regroup, which carried over to the second half," Kruger said. "I was very impressed with how we approached the second half. I thought our kids had good execution on both ends of the floor."
Ashford erased the rest of the halftime deficit over the first eight minutes of the second half, taking a 35-34 lead on a 3-pointer by Wagner. After a pair of ties, at 35 and 37, a 3-pointer by Wagner started a 7-0 Ashford run. The Saints eventually increased the lead to 48-38 on a layup by Nardi with 4:56 remaining. The lead was still 10, 52-42, when Rear connected from beyond the arc with 2:46 left.
Instead of closing out the win, though, the Saints found themselves unable to finish off Rochester. The Warriors scored 12 points in a row, capped by a three-point play by Heiden with 8 seconds remaining that gave them a 54-52 lead.
But, Mlachnik hit her basket with 2 seconds left, tying the game for the seventh time and forcing overtime.
Indiana University Northwest 95,
Johnson & Wales 68
Nicki Monahan poured in 39 points and teammate Megan Holland had a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead top-seeded Indiana University Northwest to a 95-68 rout of Johnson & Wales in the first women's semifinal Friday afternoon.
Despite the lopsided final score, the game was quite competitive throughout the first half.
Johnson & Wales led from the 17:25 mark of the first half until a 3-pointer by Monahan pulled the RedHawks even at 18 with 12:52 left. The rest of the half featured four more ties and each team taking the lead on four occasions. Indiana Northwest went ahead to stay, 33-32, with 5:07 left in the half on a layup by Holland.