Mount Advances to NEC Championship
On March 10, the Mount Saint Mary’s Women’s Basketball team took on the Wagner Seahawks in the Northeast Conference Playoff Semi-final at Knott Arena. They came into the game ranked 3rd in the playoff seeding and facing the neighboring 4th seed that is Wagner. With a spot for the NEC Playoff Final on the line, both teams were looking to book a spot in the game.
Coach Antoine White’s players started off the first quarter by scoring back-to-back 3s. The game was back and forth until the Mount began pulling away with two visits to the foul line. A buzzer beater by Kayla Agentowicz (C’21) solidified a good performance in the first quarter. It again was a back-and-forth game between the two teams, with both teams showing good defensive play. The Mount found themselves in a good run scoring back-to-back 3s and visiting the foul line on account of a Technical Foul by Wagner.
A flurry of fouls ended off the second quarter and both teams went into the locker room still poised to play the next half as the Mount led Wagner 40-25. The 3rd quarter started off with a dominant Bryant offensive performance as they went on a 14-3 scoring run. As Wagner pressed high into the backcourt, the Mount struggled from the field goal, going 1-10 and 0-6 from three. Two missed free-throws by Wagner and back-to-back 3s by the Mount ended off a nervous half of basketball, 49-40 in favor of the Mount.
The story of the fourth quarter was as much of a tale of what was going on at the Rothman Center in Hackensack, N.J. as it was in Emmitsburg for the people in the stands. At every timeout on court there was an update about the Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Bryant game going in the other semifinal. With a narrow lead in that game to Bryant, it looked as though there may be a possibility of a NEC Playoff Final happening at Knott Arena. But White, his staff and his players were under pressure from Wagner.
A scoring run of 8-4 ensued for the Seahawks as they visited the foul line twice in the first five minutes of the quarter and it looked as though the final may happen elsewhere as many people held their breath in the arena. Good defensive showing from both teams defined the last three minutes or so as it was hard for either team to score. But a 3-pointer by Isabella Hunt (C’24) with 34 seconds to go practically sealed the game for the Mount as both the fans and the team erupted in Knott Arena as the Mount won 62-50 over Wagner.
On the atmosphere inside Knott Arena, White said post game, “That atmosphere in there tonight was unbelievable, I thought we came out and imposed our will right from the get-go and that was so important for us, was to come out and play with pace and we did that."
When discussing the end of the game, Michaela Harrison (C’22) said, “I was just so excited for Hunt, that is the biggest shot of her career so far and I was just so excited to see her excited, we were all jumping around, we knew at that point that the game was iced, and I just couldn’t wait to celebrate.”