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Ballenger tallies 11 and five

Lauren Ballenger (c) 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Lauren Ballenger (c) 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Washington (Md.) went to the free-throw line 28 times, converting more times (14) than McDaniel attempted (12) to edge out a 49-48 Centennial Conference (CC) women's basketball victory on Thursday.

Lauren Ballenger (Silver Spring, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) led the Green Terror (5-2, 2-1 CC) with a career-high 11 points and a season-best five rebounds to go with two assists and two steals.

Latisha Pledger and Emily Hubley paced the Shorewomen (2-4, 1-2 CC) with 12 points each. Pledger added nine rebounds while Carley Kendall had a game-high 14 as part of a 46-30 edge on the glass.

Trailing 47-44 after a Karli Zeps (Reisterstown, Md./Seton Keough) steal-and-layup with 2:11 left, Erin Fitzgerald responded at the other end with a jumper to close the deficit to one.

Hubley turned the one-point deficit into a one-point lead with a jumper at the 1:01 mark.

Claire Mattox hit the second of two free throws in the final 30 seconds to extend the advantage to 49-47.

Off an inbounds play in the frontcourt with 24.9 seconds left, Steph Perez (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) drove to the hoop and was fouled.

The junior went to the stripe with 15 seconds left and hit the first free throw. Her second free throw was off the mark but Allie Eader (Ijamsville, Md./Linganore) corralled the rebound to give the Green Terror new life.

However in a scramble, a travelling violation was called to give the ball back to Washington with 10 seconds left.

The Shorewomen missed the first of the ensuing free-throw attempts and then appeared to stretch the lead to two with 8.9 seconds left but were whistled for a lane violation, wiping off the point and giving the ball to McDaniel.

The Green Terror drove the length of the court without pressure in the backcourt but a running floater in the lane fell off the mark as time expired.

A pair of Pledger layups staked Washington to a 4-0 lead in the game's first 70 seconds before Emma Wingerd (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) and Codi McMaster (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) each hit layups to even the game with 15:19 showing.

A Lindsey Nichols (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) 3-pointer gave the Green Terror a 7-6 lead with 11:57 remaining.

A McMaster free throw and Wingerd layup extended the advantage to 10-6 54 seconds later before the Shorewomen countered with a 13-4 run over a 4-minute, 46-second span to take a 19-14 lead with 5:18 on the clock – the largest for either team in the game.

A Brittney Davis (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) free throw and four points from Nichols evened the game with 1:58 showing.

A 3-for-6 showing from the charity stripe with just three seconds elapsed put Washington on top 22-19 en route to a 24-23 advantage at the break.

The Shorewomen extended the lead to three twice in the early part of the second half before an Alyssa March (Fallston, Md./Fallston) three-point play evened the game at 28-all with 15:36 remaining.

Back-to-back baskets from Zeps put McDaniel in front 32-29 before an Eader layup gave McDaniel a 34-30 advantage with 12:23 to play – its largest edge of the game.

Two Fitzgerald free throws and a Hubley 3-pointer around a Ballenger free throw put Washington back in front 40-37 with 7:12 on the clock.

Mattox extended the advantage to four a minute later before Ballenger went on a personal 8-0 run to once again put the Green Terror in front by four with 4:05 showing.

Perez, who avoided the first scoreless game of her career with the late free throw, did end a 52-game streak with at least one free throw and failed to reach double figures for just the second time this season.

Zeps established a career high with 10 points, adding four steals. March also nabbed four steals in a game that featured 48 combined turnovers.

McDaniel returns to action at Ursinus on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m.


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