PHILADELPHIA – The Thomas Jefferson University women's basketball team (14-11, 10-6 CACC) erased an 18-point third quarter deficit with a furious comeback to defeat Georgian Court (7-16, 5-11 CACC), 82-76, on Tuesday at the Gallagher Center for their sixth consecutive victory.
The two teams played tight basketball in the opening quarter with the margin staying within four. The Lions were in front 22-20 at the end of the period. In the second, Georgian Court led 27-24. The Lions upped the advantage to 10 with a 7-0 run. GCU held the upper hand into halftime when it had an 11-point cushion (43-32).
The Rams made the first basket of the third quarter to make the score 43-34. The Lions followed with a 15-6 rally for their largest lead of the contest at 18 (58-40) with 4:44 remaining in the frame. Jefferson recovered, however, to score 15 of the next 18 points to close the gap to six (61-55) with 1:14 to go. Senior Alynna Williams scored 13 of those points, including three shots from downtown. GCU maintained a 63-55 lead heading into the fourth.
The Rams continued their onslaught in the final period, tallying the first 12 points to take the lead, 67-63, with 6:33 to go. Freshman Haley Meinel posted seven of the points. With the score 67-64, freshman Emily Keehfuss made a free throw, Williams drilled another three and junior Sabria Lytes added a foul shot to make it 72-64 (3:31). The Lions were able to get within five (73-68) with a minute to play but Jefferson went 9-for-10 at the line down the stretch to close out the win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Williams led all scorers with 30 points, an astonishing 28 of them coming in the second half. She made five three-pointers and added four assists.
- Meinel tied her season high with 20 points and had five steals, four blocks, three assists and two rebounds.
- Lytes finished with 11 points, seven boards and three steals.
- Keehfuss chipped in with eight points and junior Allie Warren grabbed nine rebounds.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 44.4% (28-for-63) from the field, 31.8% (7-for-22) from three-point distance and 67.9% (19-for-28) from the line.
- Jefferson forced 22 turnovers and turned them into 26 points.
- The Rams held the Lions to just 25.0% (4-of-16) shooting in the fourth quarter.
- Jefferson is averaging 74.5 points during its six-game win streak.
- It was head coach Tom Shirley's 791st career win (642 at Jefferson).
The Rams received some help in getting closer to securing a playoff bid on Tuesday as Chestnut Hill defeated Goldey-Beacom to give Jefferson and CHC a two-game lead over the Lightning for the last two playoff spots with three games remaining in the regular season. The Rams and Griffins square off at Chestnut Hill on Saturday with the winner potentially locking up a postseason berth. USciences clinched the South Division's top seed with a win over Holy Family on Tuesday.
Jefferson visits Chestnut Hill on Saturday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m.