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Zeps powers McDaniel into ECAC championship

Karli Zeps (c) 2014 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Karli Zeps (c) 2014 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WASHINGTON, D.C. – McDaniel tallied eight of the final nine points in the first half to open up a 34-26 lead en route to a 77-70 victory over St. Vincent in the semifinals of the 2014 ECAC South women's basketball tournament on Saturday.

Freshman Karli Zeps (Reisterstown, Md./Seton Keough) powered the Green Terror (21-6) into its first ECAC championship game, establishing a career best with 27 points – the most by a McDaniel player since Whitney Snoops' 29 against Goucher on Jan. 25, 2011 and the most by a Green Terror freshman since Cindy Boyer scored 33 at Albright on Jan. 8, 1984.

McDaniel will take on host Catholic in Sunday's title game at 2 p.m. The Cardinals defeated Washington & Jefferson 90-71 in the day's first semifinal.

Elle Collins paced the Bearcats (19-10) with 17 points.

Trailing 13-11, Codi McMaster (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) hit a jumper to tie the game with 12:02 showing before Steph Perez (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) canned one of her four 3-pointers to put McDaniel in front for good 40 seconds later.

A Jessica Welch jumper and four straight points from Zeps stretched the advantage to 20-15 with 10:18 to play in the first half.

Welch closed the margin to 26-25 before a Zeps layup with 1:53 on the first-half clock sparked the 8-1 run to the break.

Back-to-back Emma Wingerd (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) layups gave McDaniel a 41-31 lead with 18:22 remaining.

After Mara Benevenuti and Wingerd traded baskets, St. Vincent put together a 10-2 run to close the within 45-43 with 14:39 on the clock.

Clinging to a 56-53 lead after a Drew Meeker triple, Lindsey Nichols (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) hit a jumpter with 10:52 on the clock to spark an 8-0 burst.

Zeps contributed six straight points to open up an 11-point lead with 8:26 showing.

A Susie Ellis 3-pointer with 48 ticks left closed the deficit to 75-70 but that's as close as the Bearcats could get.

McMaster finished with 14 points while Perez added 12. Wingerd chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.


Making the grade
July 9, 2014 Making the grade
McDaniel in ECAC field
March 3, 2014 McDaniel in ECAC field
Nichols tallies 15 in semis
February 28, 2014 Nichols tallies 15 in semis
Making the grade
February 7, 2014 Making the grade
Perez earns academic honor
January 30, 2014 Perez earns academic honor
Nichols scores 16
December 7, 2013 Nichols scores 16
Perez's 14 leads way to win
December 3, 2013 Perez's 14 leads way to win
Nichols tallies career-high 14
November 26, 2013 Nichols tallies career-high 14