NORTH CANTON, Ohio – The #1 seeded Walsh Cavaliers women's basketball team showed some heart and grit in a 72-70 win over the #5 seeded Hillsdale Chargers on Friday (March 8) evening at Alumni Arena.
The Cavaliers trailed by nine points in the third quarter, rallying back to clinch a spot in the Great Midwest Championship game on Saturday (March 9).
Hillsdale started on a 5-0 run before Quionche Carter scored four of the next six points as Walsh took a 6-5 lead three minutes into the game. After a Hillsdale three, Kimmie Borck responded for Walsh's first lead of the night. The Chargers took the lead and pushed it to five in the late going of the first quarter. Carter and Hannah Blake ended the quarter with four straight points but Walsh trailed 20-19 after one.
Hillsdale gained a seven-point lead in the first three minutes of the second quarter with a 9-3 run. Lexie Scarton capped a 5-0 Cavaliers run with a three-point play as Walsh pulled within two before the media timeout. Mayci Sales tied the game at 32 with a layup with 3:03 left before the half. Hillsdale rushed to a five-point advantage before Shelby Henkel scored in the closing seconds of the half. Hillsdale led 37-34 at halftime.
The Chargers regained a five-point lead right out of the gate before Carter scored five straight of her own points, tying the game at 41. Hillsdale reached their largest lead of the night, 52-43 with 2:53 left in the third, after an 11-2 run. Two minutes later, Walsh crawled within two a 7-0 run. Going to the fourth quarter, Walsh trailed 55-50.
Carter and Sales brought the Cavaliers down one with four straight points. Hillsdale added a layup for a 57-54 advantage. Lexie Scarton drained a three pointer, tying the game at 57. With 6:57 left, Sales hit a layup that put the Cavs up 59-58. The Chargers pulled the lead to one twice more but the Cavaliers never trailed the rest of the way. Walsh led by seven before Hillsdale drained two long threes. With just seconds left, the Chargers' upset bid was short-lived as the final three pointer was short.
Carter, a First Team All-Conference selection, led the Cavaliers with 22 points on 50% shooting. Sales was just short of a double-double with nine points and ten rebounds. Scarton added nine off the bench.
Walsh will face Kentucky Wesleyan in the Great Midwest Championship game on Saturday (March 9) at 4:00 PM.