Sunday, March 14, 2004

Quakers in D-III Final Four


Cummins earns MVP honors after sinking go-ahead layup vs. Loggers

By Colleen Kane
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CRESTVIEW HILLS - The Wilmington women's basketball team advanced to its first NCAA Division III Final Four Saturday night after defeating Puget Sound 63-60 for the sectional title.

After the game, the Quakers cut down the nets at Thomas More College in front of a large fan following to also celebrate the school's first NCAA Final Four appearance in any sport.

They travel to Virginia Beach, Va., next week to play for the D-III championship.

"It's the best feeling I've ever had in my life," senior guard Emily Cummins said. "When the buzzer went off, I don't know that I thought anything. It was just like, we're there. We made it. ... I was overwhelmed, definitely."

A tearful Cummins accepted the sectional's Most Valuable Player award after she followed Friday night's 26-point performance with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals Saturday.

Cummins also made the go-ahead layup with 23.1 seconds left.

"I wanted the ball in my hands at that minute," Cummins said. "She came out to my left side and I went baseline, and nobody stepped out. And I just wanted the ball."

After Cummins' score, Puget Sound forward Lindsay May's driving jumper was called as a charge with the Loggers down 61-60 with 6.2 seconds left.

Wilmington freshman guard Erica Smith made two free throws on the ensuing play, and the Loggers botched a last-second play to give the Quakers the victory.

The victory came despite Quakers foul trouble, with center Tara Rausch and forward Siobhan Zerilla having four fouls apiece.

Puget Sound took advantage of the situation, converting 22 of 23 free throws to stay in the game.

But Wilmington's bench came through to score 25 points, led by Smith's 16 points and five rebounds.

Senior forward Amy Kincer, who also was named to the all-sectional team, finished with 11 points and five rebounds.

"It was just a hard-fought win. We certainly didn't play our best game tonight," Wilmington coach Jerry Scheve said. "Sometimes when you want to get somewhere so badly, you forget how to get there.

"They struggled, we struggled, but we just stayed in there and came out on top in the end."

PUGET SOUND (23-5) - McLuen 1-9 0-0 2, May 8-20 10-10 26, Straw 4-10 6-7 14, Farber 1-6 0-0 3, Keaton 3-8 2-2 9, Carnahan 0-1 2-2 2, Ramirez 0-3 0-0 0, Wolfe 1-2 0-0 2, Roberts 0-0 2-2 2, Koval 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 18-61 22-23 60.

WILMINGTON (25-6) - Zerilla 1-4 2-2 4, Kincer 4-12 2-2 11, Rausch 4-11 0-2 8, Hood 0-2 0-0 0, Cummins 6-17 2-4 15, Thomas 1-2 0-0 2, Peters 0-1 1-6 1, Newman 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 5-10 6-6 16, Eichner 1-1 0-0 2, Robinson 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 24-66 13-22 63.

Halftime: WC 36, PS 31. 3-pointers: PS 2-9 (May 0-1, Farber 1-6, Keaton 1-2), WC 2-11 (Kincer 1-1, Rausch 0-1, Hood 0-2, Cummins 1-5, Newman 0-1, Smith 0-1). Rebounds: PS 42 (May 12), WC 48 (Peters 8). Assists: PS 5 (Farber 2), WC 6 (Kincer 3). Technical fouls - None. Attendance - N/A.




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