PHILADELPHIA – The Thomas Jefferson University women's basketball team (15-11, 11-6 CACC) came back in the fourth quarter to defeat host Chestnut Hill (11-15, 10-7 CACC), 51-49, on Saturday to lock up a CACC playoff berth.
Both teams struggled out of the gate and the score was 9-6 in favor of the Griffins after one quarter of play. Chestnut Hill started the second with six of the first seven points to go up 15-7. The Griffins maintained a seven-point lead (23-16) heading into halftime.
CHC began the third frame with an 8-4 stretch for its largest lead of the game (31-20) with 7:33 on the clock. Jefferson followed with a 10-4 run to get within five (35-30). The Griffins held the upper hand by eight (41-33) going into the final period.
Junior Sabria Lytes opened the fourth with back-to-back buckets to get the Rams within four (41-37). After a Chestnut Hill basket, Jefferson tallied eight straight points to take its first lead of the game (45-43) with 2:42 to play. Senior Alynna Williams posted six of the eight points.
The Griffins hit a three to go back ahead but Williams sank another jumper to give the Rams a 47-46 advantage (1:51). Freshman Haley Meinel recorded a steal and two free throws to make it a three-point lead (1:17). After a Williams foul shot, CHC cut the deficit to one (50-49) with a three at nine seconds to go. Williams had another free throw and the Griffins missed a game-tying layup attempt at the buzzer.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Williams led the way with 18 points.
- Lytes finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
- Meinel tallied 11 points, five boards, three assists, three blocks and two steals.
- Freshman Emily Keehfuss grabbed seven rebounds.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 32.3% (20-of-62) on field goals, 7.1% (1-of-14) on three-pointers and 62.5% (10-of-16) on free throws.
- Jefferson forced 21 turnovers.
- The Rams held the Griffins to 34.5% (19-of-55) shooting.
- It was the seventh straight win for the Rams.
- Jefferson qualified for the postseason for the 14th consecutive season.
- It was head coach Tom Shirley's 792nd career win (643 at Jefferson).
The Rams are currently third in the CACC South Division. USciences has secured the top seed with Holy Family locked in to the second position. Chestnut Hill has clinched the final playoff spot but can still catch Jefferson for third place with two games remaining in the regular season.
Jefferson travels to Goldey-Beacom on Wednesday, February 26 at 6 p.m.