PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Maddie Haney drilled a game-tying three and freshman Morgan Robinson hit the winning layup as the Thomas Jefferson University women's basketball team (3-3) stunned visiting Shippensburg (3-4), 87-85 at the Gallagher Center on Tuesday night.
The Rams had a 10-9 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Senior Alynna Williams scored seven straight points for a 17-9 Jefferson advantage. With the score 19-12, the Raiders fought back with seven in a row to tie it at 19. The teams were even at 21 entering the second.
Neither squad gained significant momentum in the second frame as the margin never surpassed four. The score was tied at 41 with two minutes to play when Shippensburg made two consecutive baskets to take a 45-41 advantage into the break. Williams tallied 20 points in the half on 8-of-12 shooting, with four three-pointers.
Jefferson cut into the deficit over the opening five minutes of the third, tying the score at 53 with 4:57 on the clock. The teams traded buckets for the rest of the period and they were deadlocked at 63 heading to the fourth.
The score was even at 72 with under five minutes remaining. Williams hit a three (4:44) and freshman Haley Meinel added a jumper (4:14) for a five-point Rams' lead. The Raiders hit a triple (3:10) and converted a pair of free throws (2:44) and the teams were equal at 77. Shippensburg continued its run with a three (2:00) and two more foul shots (1:16) to make it 82-77.
The Raiders were in front 84-78 with one minute to go after a sequence of free throws. Haney made a layup (0:42) to close the gap to four. Robinson stole the ball and laid it in to make it a two-point game (84-82) with 32 seconds left. A Shippensburg free throw increased the margin to three but the Raiders missed the second with junior Allie Warren grabbing the rebound. Haney then nailed a three from the corner to tie it with nine seconds on the clock.
Shippensburg tried to move the ball for one last shot but was called for an offensive foul, giving the Rams one last chance with 2.1 seconds remaining. Meinel inbounded from the baseline and found Robinson cutting in under the basket. Robinson got off a clean shot that kissed off the backboard and in as the buzzer sounded, with the Jefferson bench storming the court in celebration.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Williams finished with a career-high 37 points. She was 13-for-22, 8-for-15 from beyond the arc. The senior added six rebounds and four assists.
- Meinel totaled 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She had six boards, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
- Freshman Maeve McCann contributed with eight points off the bench.
- Haney and Robinson each scored seven points. Robinson dished seven assists and had three steals.
- Warren blocked four shots.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 47.8% (32-for-67) on field goals, 41.9% (13-for-31) on three-pointers and 62.5% (10-for-16) on free throws.
- Jefferson forced 16 turnovers and turned them into 20 points.
- The Rams were unselfish with 23 assists on the night.
- Jefferson's 23 assists were the most since February 23, 2019 at Bloomfield (25).
- It was the Rams' highest field goal percentage of the season.
- It was Tom Shirley's 780th career win, his 631st at the helm of the Rams.
The Rams visit East Stroudsburg on Sunday, December 1 in their final game before conference play. Tip-off is at 1 p.m.