Women's Basketball: Shappy's Free Throws Lift Norwich Over Johnson & Wales, 63-62
NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Kayleigh Shappy nailed two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to lift the Norwich University women's basketball team to a 63-62 victory over visiting Johnson & Wales in a GNAC contest Saturday afternoon at Andrews Hall.
Johnson & Wales trailed by 13 points early in the second half, but the Wildcats came all the way back and took their first lead of the second stanza with 29 seconds to play as Johanna Santosuosso hit a three-pointer from the right wing.
After a timeout, Norwich had the ball in the front court and Shappy was fouled on her way to the hoop. The junior captain, who finished with eight points, calmly stepped to the free throw line and buried both offerings to send the Cadets to the win. Johnson & Wales had one final possession, but Shappy saved the game with a timely steal as the clock ran out.
Sophomore guard Erica Rate led Norwich (6-13, 5-3 GNAC) with a team-high 16 points. Christine Daniels and Laural McWilliams joined Rate in double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Ally Daniels chipped in eight points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
With Norwich leading by 13 points (40-27) at the 18:04 mark of the second half, Johnson & Wales began its comeback with eight straight points to trim their deficit to 40-35 with 14:36 to play. A 6-1 Norwich spurt gave the Cadets a 46-36 lead at the 12:11 mark, but the Wildcats used an 11-5 run over the next three minutes to make the score 51-47 with 9:27 showing on the clock. Five unanswered points by NU gave the Cadets a 56-47 lead at the 5:40 mark, but a 12-3 burst by JWU tied the game at 59-59 with 1:40 to play. After a basket by Jess Jaggars put Norwich back on top, 61-59, Santosuosso connected from long range to give the Wildcats their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
Johnson & Wales (7-12, 5-3 GNAC) played well early, and the Wildcats held a 7-3 lead at the 17:31 mark. Norwich quickly rallied with a 13-0 run to open a 16-7 lead at 13:15 mark. Rate ignited the Cadets spurt with three three-pointers. Four straight points by JWU cut Norwich's lead down to 16-11 two minutes later, but a 9-0 NU burst gave the Cadets their largest lead of the half at 25-11 with 9:37 to play before intermission. McWilliams scored six points during the Norwich spurt.
The Cadets kept their lead in double-figures throughout the remainder of the first half, and they took a 37-24 lead into the locker room.
Rate led Norwich in the first half with 11 points, while McWilliams dropped in nine points. The Cadets shot a blistering 53.6 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, while the Wildcats shot an abysmal 21.6 percent.
Norwich shot just 24.0 percent after halftime (6-of-24), which opened the door for Johnson & Wales to come back. The Cadets held a 51-40 rebounding edge for the game.
Johnson & Wales was led by Santosuosso, who pumped in a game-high 17 points. Alyse Ragaglia and Maria Valletta each added 12 points apiece, while Alexia Ramirez chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Norwich returns to Andrews Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 6, when the Cadets host GNAC foe Lasell at 5:30 p.m.