WASHINGTON – Two missed free throw attempts by Keuka College opened the door for Gallaudet University to tie the game in the waning seconds of Saturday's North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) women's basketball game in the Field House. The Bison (6-6, 3-1 NEAC) threw the ball away and lost 55-52 to the visiting Storm (4-5, 4-1 NEAC).
The Bison trailed 29-25 at halftime and had a chance to regain their first lead since the 13:15 mark in the first half when they pulled within a point, 31-30, one minute into the second half. Keuka used an 8-0 run over the next five minutes to increase its lead to 39-30.
GU stayed within striking distance for the remainder of the game but could never get the lead. Nine turnovers in the second half hampered the Bison's chances to mount a comeback.
Keuka missed six consecutive free throws in the final minute to keep the door open for Gallaudet. Sophomore Danielle Warren (Riverside, Calif.) made a jumper and a three-pointer to pull the Bison to within two, 54-52, with 27 seconds left. Two missed Storm free throws gave the Bison possession once more but senior Lindsay Stergio (Montville, Conn.) turned the ball over with 14 seconds left. The Storm made 1-of-2 free throws as GU marched up the court with time ticking down. Senior guard Britny Latham (Cleveland, Tenn.) launched up a 3-point shot with five seconds left but it didn't find the bottom of the net but Keuka turned the ball over on the rebound.
GU had one more chance, with two seconds left, to tie the game but Stergio was fouled and went to the free throw line where she missed the first free throw attempt. A missed second chance, on purpose, was rebounded by the Storm to end the game.
Stergio led the Bison with 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Stergio's double-double is her sixth of the season. Junior forward Lane Peters (Phoenix, Ariz.) scored nine of her 13 points in the first half and grabbed 13 rebounds for her third double-double this season. Senior guard Stephanie Weiss (Wellington, Fla.) played one of her best games of the season as she scored seven points, passed out 10 assists, grabbed six rebounds and made four steals. Junior Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) ripped down nine rebounds and tallied three assists in the loss.
Keuka guards Taylor Szwec and Danielle Gravel scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to pace the Storm offense. Gravel scored her 13 points in the first half and was held scoreless in the 17 minutes she logged in the second half. Forward Katie Stuart was the third Keuka player in double figures with 10 points while Casey Chamberlin grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Storm.
Gallaudet will step out of conference and host College of Staten Island tomorrow (Sunday, Jan. 12) at 2 p.m.