CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Ursinus College women's basketball team rode a gritty defensive effort and a big fourth-quarter run to hang on for a 46-41 victory in a critical Centennial Conference battle at Washington College on Saturday.
The Bears (11-11, 8-9) shot just 29.8 percent from the field, but opened the final frame on a 10-2 spurt and limited the Shorewomen to a putrid 23.3 percent in keeping their playoff hopes alive with a second straight victory. With the win, Ursinus remained a half-game back of McDaniel and Dickinson for the fifth and final CC postseason berth.
Chestertown has traditionally been a tough place to play for the Bears, who had lost six of their previous seven visits to the Eastern Shore prior to Saturday's triumph.
Trailing 32-31 after three periods, Ursinus took the lead for good on two free throws by freshman Maya Kornfeld with 9:39 to play. From there the Bears allowed their stingy defense to take over, holding Washington College to just two points over the first seven minutes of the frame. A lay-up by senior Rachel Guy gave the visitors a 43-35 advantage with 2:13 to go, and the Shorewomen got no closer than four the rest of the way.
Freshman Aliyah Stephens continued her strong play with a team-high 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, also adding seven rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore Lydia Konstanzer made it six double-doubles in a row with 11 points and 12 rebounds to go with four steals, while Guy just missed one with nine points and nine boards and Kornfeld netted all nine of her markers after halftime. Those four accounted for all but three of the Bears' points on the day.
Ursinus led the whole first quarter before Washington College (5-16, 3-13) found its footing, grabbing its first upper hand on a three-point play by Caitlyn Clark early in the second. A triple by Clark and a bucket by Bridget McLaughlin capped a 10-0 run spanning the end of the opening stanza, and the Shorewomen twice led by seven in the second.
Down 22-19 at the break, the Bears went to work early in the third. They opened the period on an 8-0 run, forcing a timeout and taking a 27-22 advantage following three consecutive buckets by Stephens. Ursinus went scoreless over the final three minutes of the frame, however, allowing Washington College to close on a 6-0 run of its own and snag a one-point edge heading into the fourth.
Kornfeld went 6 for 8 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to help the Bears hold off the Shorewomen for a crucial result.
Konstanzer's double-double was her 10th of the season, and 19th for her career.
Cassidy Quattro scored 11 points to pace Washington College, which made just 14 of its 60 attempts from the floor and went 3 for 14 from beyond the arc.
The Bears return home to host Swarthmore on Tuesday, February 6.