The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 12, 2014

St. Francis women advance to NEC final

Emmitsburg, Md. — While Mount St. Mary’s was able to cool off Alli Williams, the Mountaineers couldn’t keep St. Francis from advancing to the NEC women’s tournament final on Wednesday.

Williams, coming off a 47-point effort in St. Francis’ quarterfinal win over Sacred Heart, netted 16 points; four off the pace of Alexa Heyward’s output as the Red Flash took home a 68-63 win from Knott Arena.

The Red Flash (15-16) will face Robert Morris – a 72-67 winner over Bryant in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

The game will be played at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Sewall Center at Robert Morris with the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line.

It will be the program’s 16th appearance in the conference title game, where the Red Flash carry an 11-4 record since a 78-67 loss to Mount St. Mary’s in 1994’s title game.

The Red Flash were throttled by Quinnipiac 72-33 in last year’s title game after winning in their last two trips to the NEC championship.

Aisha Brock supplied 13 points off the bench for the Red Flash, who are 43-8 all time in NEC tournament play. Williams and Rebecca Keegan each pulled down nine boards.

 Jacqueline Brewer’s 16 points led a trio of Mount St. Mary’s scorers in double figures. Sydney Henderson added 13 points while Jenn Carney chipped in 10 points for the Mountaineers (19-13).

St. Francis only trailed for 21 seconds after Rachel Mathews’ layup gave Mount St. Mary’s a 4-3 lead. A 3-pointer by Heyward put the Red Flash ahead 6-4, giving the No. 3 seed a lead it would not surrender.

Bringing a 29-25 lead into the second half, St. Francis grew its advantage to 51-35 on Shaqeia Stokes’ layup with 12:31 to go.

 The Mountaineers drew as close as four points with 4:03 to go but could not get any closer.

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