LANCASTER, Pa. – The Gallaudet University women's basketball team saw its 2013-14 season come to a close on Saturday night with a 54-51 loss to Wells College in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) semifinal round at Lancaster Baptist College. This was Gallaudet's first appearance in the NEAC tournament since the 2010-11 season. GU finishes the season 15-12, the first winning season in three seasons.
Gallaudet trailed Wells (19-7) for the entire second half, were down eight points with 5:45 left in regulation, but slowly chipped away. GU pulled to within two, 47-45, on a made basket by junior Danielle Warren (San Jose, Calif.) at the 3:31 mark. Wells standout Ashley Roser, the NEAC Player of the Year, scored four of her game-high 25 points to push the Express lead up to six and later seven points, 52-45, with 45 ticks on the scoreboard.
Senior guard Britny Latham (Cleveland, Tenn.) sunk back-to-back 3-pointers to keep Gallaudet's hopes alive. Latham's last 3-pointer inched GU to 54-51 with 12 seconds left. GU sent Roser to the foul line where she missed and junior forward Lane Peters (Phoenix, Ariz.) grabbed the rebound to give the Bison one final chance to tie the game and force overtime. Latham heaved up a three from the right side of the arc but it missed as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
"I am really proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish this season with just eight players," said Gallaudet coach Stephanie Stevens, who completes her second season at the helm. "It's tough that this is the last game for three spectacular seniors, who really helped to build our foundation. The future is bright and we look forward to see what next season brings."
Latham led the Bison with 14 points off the bench as she made 4 of 8 shots from 3-point range, grabbed five rebounds and made four steals. Senior forward Lindsay Stergio (Montville, Conn.) and Peters each had 10 rebounds and nine points. Stergio added four assists, two steals and a block. Junior forward Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) recorded seven points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Stephanie Weiss (Wellington, Fla.) scored six points and passed out four assists before fouling out in her last collegiate game. Warren chipped in six points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Roser picked up a double-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and two steals. Kaitlynne Knapp had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Express. Wells will face top-seed Lancaster Bible in Sunday's NEAC championship game with a NCAA tournament bid on the line.
The two teams played a close first half as neither team held a large lead. GU held a four-point lead, 21-17, at the 6:27 but ended up trailing 23-21 at halftime.
GU bids farewell to three seniors who have given a lot to the women's basketball program including a NEAC regular-season championship and a NCAA tournament appearance during the 2010-11 season.
Latham played three seasons (2010-12, 2013-14) where she saw action in 66 games (38 starts) and finished with 693 points, 163 rebounds, 119 3-pointers, 108 assists and 103 steals. GU went 47-32 (.594) in her three seasons with the Bison.
Stergio, a transfer, completed her second season (2012-14) with the Bison as she compiled 862 points, 486 rebounds, 144 assists, 82 steals and 22 blocks in 51 games played (50 starts). GU went 22-30 (.423) in her two seasons with the Bison.
Weiss is a four-year letterwinner (2010-14) as she played in 97 games (83 starts) and recorded 721 points, 278 rebounds, 250 assists, 127 3-pointers and made 122 steals. The Bison compiled a 54-50 (.519) record in four seasons.