Nashua, NH- For the second time this season the Lady Falcons have defeated the Rivier University Raiders this time at the Muldoon Gymnasium in Nashua, NH, 61-55. The two teams squared off back on November 20th with the Falcons earning a 77-66 victory. Tonight, the Falcons used a strong fourth quarter in which they outscored the Raiders 16-10 to hold on for the season sweep and finish the regular season with their 19th victory. Fisher has now won four straight as they prepare for the upcoming A.I.I Championship Tournament set to start on Friday, February 22nd.
The first quarter started with each team scoring on their first possesion with Vivian Lara (Norwalk, CA) getting her team on the board with a jump shot less than a minute into the game. However the shooting went cold for the next three minutes of play as the two teams combined for nine straight missed shots. Lara ended the skid with another bucket at the 6:08 mark to put the Falcons up 4-2. Rivier's Kaylee Kacavas scored the Raiders next five points to put her team back up 9-6. A Tiana Bowser (Newark, NJ) basket and four straight free throws from Kellie Gaston (Tampa, FL) helped the Falcons gain a 12-10 lead with 1:15 on the clock in the first. Kacavas converted her two free throws just seconds later and the two teams would head to the second quarter tied at 12 a piece. Rivier went on a quick 7-0 run to start the second putting the home team up 19-12 just 98 seconds into the second. After another set of free throws from Kacavas to give the Raiders a 25-20 lead at the 6:03 mark, the Falcons outscored the Raiders 12-5 over the last six minutes in the quarter to finish the half with a 32-30 lead.
The third quarter was tight the whole way through as there were seven lead changes and four ties in ten minutes of play. Each team only hit four shots in the quarter, but Rivier took advantage of six Fisher turnovers, scoring twice off of Falcons miscues. Lara scored 11 points, including two 3's in the third quarter to pace the offense and the score was knotted at 45 a piece with ten minutes left in regulation. Jenny-Lynn Eggers (Sonoma, CA) got the offense started in the fourth after she grabbed an offensive rebound under the basket and laid it back up for the 47-45 lead out of the gate. The Raiders responded again with a made bucket from Alexandra Grumblatt to tie it again with 8:43 left on the clock. Lara nailed another three just seconds later to put the Falcons back up by three, but another made shot and a pair of free throws from Kacavas gave the Raiders back the lead at the 5:43 mark. Fisher responded with a 5-0 run, the biggest run for either team in the second half, going up 57-53 capped by a Gaston lay-up with just 1:23 left to play. The Raiders quickly got it down the court and converted a quick lay-up to bring them within two and immediately called a full timeout. Coach Ford drew up the play and the Falcons had a clear lay-up for Eggers, but Megan Hamel of the Raiders blocked the shot forcing the ball out of bounds and would remain Falcon ball. After the ball was inbounded, Piper Mali (Oro Valley, AZ) found Lara open for a 3-pointer and she nailed it making it a five-point game with the Falcons up 60-55. The Raiders had two open looks from beyond the arc in the last 45 seconds of play, but could not convert and the Falcons held on for the 61-55 victory.
Lara tallied her sixth double-double of the season, having finished the game with a team-leading 25 points and 10 boards in the win. Gaston was the other Falcon to finish in double figures with 10 points while also collecting three rebounds and a pair of steals. Eggers had a strong game overall having finished with seven points and seven rebounds, including a team-high six offensive boards. Rivier's Kacavas led all scorers with 28 points while also knabbing five steals and a pair of blocks in the losing effort. Hamel also played well for the Raiders as she finished with a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Fisher will now have some time off to prepare for the A.I.I. Tournament which will take place at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, IL. The Falcons will take on the 5th seeded Wilberforce University Bulldogs on February 22nd at 6:30pm.