Waltham, Mass. (March 14) -- At the NCAA East Regional on Friday afternoon, LIU Post's Alexis Peters hit a baseline runner at the buzzer as the Assumption College women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 60-59 final to the No. 3 seeded Pioneers. Assumption inbounded the ball with 1.1 seconds left and a one-point lead before Peters converted the turnover into the game-winning basket.
Assumption got off to a quick start as the Hounds led by an 11-2 margin with 16:01 left in the first after a layup from sophomore Kelly Conley (Ellington, Conn./Ellington). The Hounds continued to lead the Pioneers and with 9:32 remaining in the opening period, Assumption was in front by five at 20-15 after a jumper from junior Caitlin Ackerman (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South). LIU Post went on a 5-0 run over the next 4:19 that was capped by a layup by Shayna Gatling as she took advantage of one of 10 first-half turnovers for Assumption. On the next possession, Assumption freshman Kelly Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Holy Trinity) drilled a corner three and was fouled, converting the free throw for the four-point play and a 24-20 lead. The Pioneers tied the game at 27-27 on a layup from Peters with 1:40 left, but the Hounds took a 29-27 lead into the break after a pair of free throws from freshman Allison Stoddard (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) with 44.7 on the clock.
The Hounds shot 39.3 percent from the field in the opening half and hit four three-pointers. Assumption also held an 18-17 edge in rebounding as the teams were even at 7-7 on the offensive glass. Conley led the Hounds with seven first-half points, while Chelsea Williams had 12 and Peters 11 in the opening period for LIU Post.
The teams started off evenly to open the second half as the Hounds held just a 34-33 lead with 17:14 remaining. Over the next 5:21 though, Assumption embarked on a 15-3 run that was capped by a layup from senior Shannon Ray (Yonkers, N.Y./Ursuline Academy) to stake the Hounds to a game-high 49-36 lead with 12:46 left. The Pioneers held Assumption without a field goal for the next 5:22 and used eight points by Peters in that stretch to close to within five at 51-46. Ackerman ended the Assumption scoring drought on a jumper with 7:22 remaining, but LIU Post kept chipping away and cut the margin to 53-52 with 4:25 on the clock following two free throws from Williams.
Another Ackerman layup pushed the lead back to 55-52, but a putback from Williams and a jumper in the lane by Kiki Sears gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game at 56-55. After Assumption forced a shot clock violation, Ray nailed a jumper from the right side for a 57-56 edge. Williams again put the Pioneers up one on a layup at the 1:34 mark, but Ray answered yet again with a pullup jumper from the free throw line for a 59-58 edge with just 1:18 remaining.
After a missed Peters three in the final seconds, the Hounds were forced to inbound the ball with 1.1 seconds left and leading by one. Peters picked off the errant pass and just before time expired, she launched a baseline runner that fell for the one-point victory. The officials referred to the monitor to determine if the shot was good as it left her hand just before the final horn.
Assumption shot 54.2 percent in the second half, en route to 46.2 percent shooting for the game. The Hounds outscored the Pioneers 18-9 from three-point land and shot 5-for-7 from the free throw line. LIU Post held a slim 36-32 edge in rebounding for the game, including 19-12 on the offensive glass that they converted into 17 second-chance points. The Pioneers shot 39.3 percent from the field for the game, including 23.1 percent from deep. LIU Post forced 22 turnovers, as compared to 19 for the Hounds as the teams combined for 30 points off of turnovers.
Ray and senior guard Tafanie Roye (New Britain, Conn./Capital Magnet Prep) led the Hounds with 11 points each, while senior captain Jamie Insel (Clinton, N.J./Voorhees) posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with 10 points from Ackerman.
Williams led the Pioneers with 23 points, while Peters had 21 in the comeback win.
With the loss, Assumption concludes its season at 18-11 overall, while LIU Post improves to 23-6 and advances to face the winner of the Adelphi/New Haven game on Saturday.
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