(HOLLAND, Mich.) – The Carnegie Mellon University women's basketball team traveled seven hours to Hope College in Holland, Michigan, for the program's first NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament game in 25 years, and closed Friday night's opening round with a 73-72 victory after junior Lisa Murphy (McLean, Va./McLean) converted a layup and foul shot with five seconds left. The Tartans, ranked 25th in the nation, are now 20-6 while the fifth-ranked Flying Dutch end the year with a 26-2 record.
The Tartans led 21-12 at the end of the first quarter after shooting 50.0% from the field. The Tartans pushed a 2-2 game to an 18-6 advantage connecting on 7-of-10 during the run that took the clock down to 3:40. The Tartans missed their next five shots and Hope closed the gap to six before senior Lindsay Poss (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) ended the three-minute drought for the Cardinal and Gray with her second three-pointer of the quarter.
Rebounding helped the Tartans increase their nine-point first quarter lead to 17 in the second quarter before holding an 11-point advantage at the break. The Tartans outrebounded the Flying Dutch 13-5 in the quarter and scored 11 second-chance points off six offensive rebounds. Murphy led the Tartans at the break with 12 points and eight rebounds (five offensive) while senior Liza Otto (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) had 11 points at the break.
The Flying Dutch outscored the Tartans 25-21 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to seven heading into the final 10-minute period.
Hope twice pulled to within three points on baskets by Maura McAfee but a jumper by Otto put the Tartans up five with 4:32 to play. Two minutes passed before another shot was made and it was by McAfee down low who converted an and-one to cut the Tartan lead to 68-67 with 2:17 to go.
A three-pointer from the top of the key by Mandy Traversa gave the Flying Dutch their first lead of the game since the first basket of the game, but the lead was short lived as Murphy answered with a bucket in the paint to tie the score at 70-70 with 45 seconds to play.
Angelique Gaddy converted a layup with 21 seconds to go, putting all the pressure on the Tartans in front of 1,397 fans primarily cheering for Hope.
But Murphy was there again, grabbing another offensive rebound and putting it in while drawing the foul. The ensuing foul shot was good and the Tartans led by one with five ticks left on the clock.
Tight defense in the post forced a shot by McAfee to be short as Murphy secured the rebound and the victory for the Tartans.
Murphy closed the game with 25 points and 14 rebounds on 12-of-14 shooting from the field while Otto tallied 19 points and Poss finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Tartans finished with 50 rebounds to 31 for Hope and 24 second-chance points.
Gaddy led the Flying Dutch with 20 points while McAfee finished with 19 points.
The Tartans advance to the second round and will play Ohio Northern University on 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 5.
Post game interview session