#14/16 Women's Hoops Comes Up Short at #1 Thomas More

Rosa LaMattina driving for the Raiders
Rosa LaMattina driving for the Raiders

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. -- Mount Union's nationally ranked women's basketball team fell to No.-1 ranked Thomas More (Ky.) in an NCAA Tournament Second Round matchup, 76-63, on Saturday at Thomas More's Connor Convocation Center.

Trailing 61-59 with 5:55 left, the Purple Raiders hit a scoring drought. The Saints scored nine straight points while Mount Union (26-4) shot 0 of 5 with one turnover over a period of 4:45.

Rosa LaMattina (Westlake/Westlake) finally ended the dry spell with 1:10 on the clock, but by that time, the Raiders were behind, 70-61.

Mount Union took a 44-40 lead with 15:08 left in the game -- courtesy of a 6-0 run led by post players Brittany Kilgore (Northfield/Nordonia) and Lauren Forquer (North Canton/Green); Kilgore had four points and Forquer put in two.

The Raiders struggled to take command of the lead, committing turnovers on their next three possessions.

Allison Long hit a 3-pointer for Thomas More (30-0) and then put the Saints ahead with a layup.

Amanda Rose (Uniontown/Green) traded layups with Long on the next three possessions: Rose put Mount Union up, Long answered back and then Rose gave the Raiders their final lead, 48-47, with 11:15 remaining.

Chelsea Tolliver came back with a 3 for the Saints, helping them to a 50-48 advantage.

Thomas More's lead widened to 57-50 before the Raiders found their way back. A pair of free throws by Katie Crider (Brunswick/Brunswick) and then a trey by Rose closed the deficit to 57-55.

Nicole Dickman hit a layup for the Saints and LaMattina responded with a pair of freebies. Long then made a layup and Erin Schmidt (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) made the score, 61-59, with a layup for the Raiders. At that point, the hosts went on their decisive run.

LaMattina was Mount Union's leading scorer, finishing with 19 points, three assists and three steals. Amanda Rose added 10 points while Schmidt contributed nine points and three steals. Kori Wiedt (North Olmsted/North Olmsted) made seven rebounds.

The Raiders hung tough in the first half, shooting 48.1 percent from the field including 50 percent (5 of 10) from 3-point lead, as they trailed 35-34 at the intermission.

In the second period, Mount Union struggled in the field, making 34.4 percent of its shots, and was only 12.5 percent (2 of 16) from behind the arc.

The Raiders were also done in by a good-shooting performance by their opponent as the Saints were 54.7 percent from the field. In 2010-11, the Raiders were undefeated (26-0) when opponents shot less than 50 percent and were winless (0-4) when opponents were better than 50.

Dickman ended with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Saints. Tolliver added 17, Katie Kitchen put in 15 and Long had 11.

Thomas More outscored the Raiders in the paint, 42-16.