Nov. 27, 2011
NEW YORK - Army freshman forward Olivia Schretzman poured in a career-high 20 points, but Columbia broke a 56-56 tie with a 7-2 run and thwart the Black Knights' rally in a 63-58 loss on Sunday afternoon at Levein Gymnasium. The setback marked the Black Knights' second of the season and stopped a four-game win streak.
Army (5-2) tied the game (56-56) on a Schretzman jumper with 3:48 to play, but Columbia won the game at the free throw line and collected its first victory of the season. The Lions, which led by as many as 13 points midway through the second half, hit seven of 10 free throws over the final 2:13 to seal the victory.
Schretzman's 20 points included an 8-of-8 effort from the free throw line. She added five rebounds and played a career-high 39 minutes. Juniors Anna Simmers and Molly Yardley added 14 and 11 points, respectively. The pair paced Army with eight rebounds apiece.
"(Olivia) Schretzman had a career night," said head coach Dave Magarity. "She didn't miss from the free throw line and was very strong around the basket. We're just scratching the surface of what she can do."
The Black Knights played from behind nearly the entire game, but rallied back from a 50-37 deficit with 9:56 left to give themselves a chance to win in the waning minutes. A pull-up three-point bucket from Yardley jumpstarted a 19-6 run over the next 5:52 to lock the score at 56-56 on Schretzman's shot. The Black Knights went cold from there, as another Yardley jumper at the with 21 seconds to play marked thee Black Knights' lone bucket down the stretch. The defense held Columbia without a field goal over the final 5:44, but the Lions hit seven key free throws down the stretch to make the difference.
"What often happens is you exert so much energy coming back from being down, when the big play had to be made when the game was tied and we had possession, we couldn't come up with it," Magarity noted. "Columbia played terrific today and we didn't bring the same type of energy that we have in every other game this season. We ran into a team that was playing with a lot of desperation and was a heck of a lot better than its 0-5 record."
Army shot 39 percent (20-of-51) from the floor and outrebounded Columbia by a 41-35 margin. While Simmers and Yardley combined for 16 boards, freshman forward Ciara Jackson totaled six caroms off the bench.
Army struggled to find its rhythm from the outset, falling into a 9-2 early over the first 4:22. The Black Knights scored first on a Schretzman layup at the 19:01 mark, but proceeded to give up nine unanswered points.
The Lions went on to hold an 18-8 lead at the under-8:00 media timeout. The Black Knights came out of that break and began to find their offense. Consecutive steals and fast break layups courtesy of Yardley (6:52) and Simmers (6:12), highlighting a 15-10 Army run to close the half. For the first time this season, the Black Knights entered the locker room facing a deficit (28-23). Army shot just under 30 percent (7-of-24) in the opening half.
Columbia scored six of the first eight points of the second half, extending its lead to 34-25 and prompting Magarity to burn a timeout with 17:35 on the clock. However, the Lions continued to pound the ball inside to Courtney Bradford, who tallied 16 of her career-high 17 points in the second half.
Army trailed by 13 twice midway through the second frame before making its final push at the end.
"This was a game that we had to find a way to win," Magarity said. "We had them (Columbia) right where we wanted them. They had just seen a big lead evaporate and our pressure was terrific at times. We made some big plays, but ran out of gas and it was the difference in the game."
Bradford pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to complete a double-double for Columbia. Taylor Ball added 10 points.
Army returns home where the team is 4-1 this season for a Thursday night tilt against Hawai'i. The first meeting between the two programs will tip-off at 6 p.m. and be available online via ITT Knight Vision.
Game Notes: Dave Magarity stuck with his usual starting five, including Janelle Travis, Molly Yardley, Jen Hazlett, Kait Goodall and Olivia Schretzman ... junior guard Karleen Paulin celebrated her birthday on Sunday ... Army carried a 5-1 record into Sunday's game, which matched the program's best start since Magarity's first season in 2006-07 ... Army and Columbia met for the first time since 2007-08.