Women's Basketball Holds off Norwich 66-63 in GNAC Play

Photo by Ron Waite
Photo by Ron Waite

Three Falcons registered double figures as the Albertus Magnus women's basketball team defeated Norwich 66-63 on Wednesday night in Northfield, Vt. Lindsay Karle (Wallingford, Conn.) hit two free throws in the final seconds of the game to clinch the Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory as she finished the night with 18 points to lead the way for the Falcons.

With the win, the Falcons improve to 9-6 on the year and 2-3 in league play. Norwich drops to 6-10 overall and 1-4 in the GNAC standings.

Bianca Brown (West Haven, Conn.) finished the night with 19 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. She was one of three Falcons to score in double digits, while Lianna Carrero (Hamden, Conn.) added 19 points as well. Carrero scored 15 second-half points after scoring just four in the first half of play.

Albertus opened tonight's contest with a 12-2 run but Norwich answered with a 15-0 run to take a 17-12 lead. The Falcons were able to battle back to take a lead at intermission as they held a five-point advantage at the break thanks to a Carrero jumper at the buzzer.

Karle led the Falcons after the first frame as she scored 10 of her 18 points in the opening 20 minutes. Karle shot 4-of-10 from the field, including a 2-of-6 clip from behind the arc, in 14 minutes of play during the first half.

The Falcons, who led 31-26 at the half, opened the second half with a 6-2 run to take a 37-28 lead. Norwich was able to fight back to cut the lead to one less than five minutes into the frame before taking their first lead of the second half on a Jocelyn Fusulo jumper at the 14:59 mark.

The second half consisted of four lead changes, while the Falcons committed 11 turnovers in the frame as Norwich scored 10 points off of those miscues.

With a minute to go in regulation, the Falcons held a four-point lead before Carrero hit 1-of-2 free throws to extend the Albertus lead to five.  Two made free throws by Norwich cut the Albertus lead to three with 37 seconds on the clock. After an Albertus turnover and foul, Kelsey Lotti hit both of her free-throw attempts to cut the Falcons' lead to one at 63-62 with 17 seconds left to play.

Annie Raucci (Milford, Conn.) gave Albertus a two-point lead with 14 seconds left with a made free throw before fouling with five seconds on the clock, putting Norwich's Kelsey Lotti on the line for two shots. Lotti missed the first and made the second before fouling right away to put Karle on the line.

Karle, a 71.7-percent free-throw shooter on the year, hit both of her attempts to extend the Falcons lead to 66-63 with four seconds left on the clock to secure the victory.  

Despite the loss, Norwich out-rebounded the Falcons 54-42 on the night and had three players register double-figures in scoring.

For the Falcons, Nicole Acerra (East Haven, Conn.) added six points, while Raucci was held scoreless in the first half but pulled down six rebounds for the Falcons. She finished the contest with just two points but pulled down 10 rebounds for her fifth game of the year with double-digit boards. Both Raucci and Acerra were dominate on the defensive end as they held Norwich's Aliah Curry in check as she shot just 4-of-18 from the floor due to the aggressive defense.

Albertus returns to action this weekend as the Falcons get set to host Anna Maria in the CMM Athletic Center on Saturday. The GNAC contest is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. This season marks the first that the AMCats have played in the GNAC as the Falcons hold the series record at 6-4 dating back to the 1998-99 season.