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No. 23 Saints Rally to Defeat No. 25 Louisiana, 94-91, In NCAA First Round

No. 23 Saints Rally to Defeat No. 25 Louisiana, 94-91, In NCAA First Round

(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - Junior guard Allison Long (Hebron, Ky./Conner) scored a career-high 36 points to lead the 23rd-ranked Thomas More College women's basketball team to a 94-91, come-from-behind win over 25th-ranked Louisiana College tonight (Friday, March 3, 2012) in an NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament first round game at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

With the win, the Saints improve to 25-4 and advance to play 16th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in second round game at the Connor Convocation Center.  With the loss, the Wildcats end the season at 24-5.

Louisiana raced out to an early 9-3 lead when Natasha Gottlieb made a jumper with 16:51 to play in the first half.  Long answered with a three-pointer at the 15:52 mark of the first half to cut the lead to 9-6.  The Wildcats responded with a 25-7 run to increase the lead to 34-15 with 9:22 to play in the first half when Roslyn Wilmer made a three-pointer.  Thomas More came right back with a 23-12 run to cut the lead to 46-38 with 1:23 to play in the half when junior forward/center Katie Kees (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) made a lay-up.  Louisiana took a 48-38 lead into halftime when Kaeana Frank made a lay-up with 1:13 to play in the first half.  

Louisiana opened the second half on an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 56-38 with 18:24 to play in the game when Kala Chenier made a three-pointer.  Undaunted, the Saints went on a 52-33 run to take a 90-89 lead with 1:20 to play in the game when freshman guard Stephanie Krusling (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas) made a lay-up.  Louisiana's Melody Criswell made two free-throws with 15-seconds to play in the game to give the Wildcats a 91-90 lead.  Senior guard/forward Lauren Hargett (Verona, Ky./Walton-Verona) made a lay-up with five-seconds to play in the game to give the Saints a 92-91 lead and then Krusling made two free-throws with one-second to play in the game for the final score of 94-91.

Four other Saints joined Long in double-figure scoring as Hargett had 16 points, junior guard Jill Brunsman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) had 12 points, while Kees and sophomore guard Devin Beasley (Burlington, Ky./Conner) each had 10 points.  Two Saints had double-figure rebounds to complete double-doubles as Kees had 11 boards and Brusnman had 10 boards.  Brunsman led the team in assists with seven.