The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 18, 2012

St. Francis women hold off Akron

LORETTO — The St. Francis women held off a late rally by Akron for a 74-73 win at DeGol Arena on Sunday.

Alli Williams led the Red Flash to just their third 3-0 start in school history with another strong effort, racking up 22 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists.

The Zips (3-1) struggled to get their leading scorer, Rachel Tecca, started in the first half. Tecca, who averaged 22 points a game, was limited to just two in the first half thanks to a solid defensive effort by Shene Fleming and limited minutes because of foul trouble.

Nickia Gibbs posted a solid effort for SFU with 15 points, seven boards and four assists.

The Zips rallied from down by 16 in the second half, and took the lead with 48 seconds remaining. But Fleming dropped in a layup with 31 seconds left to give the Flash the lead for good.

Kacie Cassell missed a layup with nine seconds left, and Fleming secured the rebound.

The junior forward missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity, giving Akron one last chance, but the half-court shot came up short.

“We are really trying to wear teams down this season,” St. Francis coach Joe Haigh said. “They (Akron) had a couple mistakes on inbounds plays and Alli (Williams) got a steal and some easy layups and those were mistakes that Akron would not normally make if they are not tied out.”

St. Francis jumped out to its big second-half advantage on a 11-2 run early in the second stanza.