BALTIMORE, Md. – Defense was the name of the game on Saturday night as the Susquehanna women’s basketball team held Landmark Conference opponent Goucher to just 43 points in SU’s 51-43 victory.
The Crusaders (10-10, 5-4) limited Goucher (2-16, 2-7) to a 27 percent field goal percentage while SU sank 40 percent of its shots.
Sophomore Gina Palazzi (Newfoundland, Pa./Wallenpaupack) and senior Rachael Hughes (Gordon, Pa./North Schuylkill) combined to score 32 of SU’s 53 points as Palazzi finished with 18 and Hughes added 14. Palazzi also recorded yet another double-double as she led all players with 13 boards.
The teams traded buckets and leads for the majority of the first half. Senior Erika Barron’s (Tamaqua, Pa./Tamaqua Area) layup with 13:38 on the clock gave SU a three-point advantage, 9-6, but a 7-2 Goucher run put the Crusaders behind by two (13-11) with less than 10 minutes to play.
More than two minutes elapsed before either team scored another point, which finally came in the form of a Sharnell Huff jumper that gave the Gouchers a 15-11 edge with at the 7:24 mark.
A layup from Hughes 20 seconds later snapped Susquehanna’s scoreless streak and sparked a 12-0 SU run that burned five minutes off the clock and made it 25-15 in the Crusaders’ favor. Eight of those points came compliments of Hughes which helped give SU a 29-20 halftime advantage.
The second half opened with five unanswered Susquehanna points, as the team built a 14-point lead (34-20).
The Gophers briefly cut the lead to six points, 36-30, five minutes into the half before seven consecutive points from Palazzi made it a 13-point contest (43-30).
Goucher was not ready to hand the win to SU that easily, however, and put together a 10-0 run of its own that cut SU’s lead to just three (43-40) with five minutes still to play.
The Crusaders refused to let the Gophers pull any closer, though, as clutch three throws over the closing seconds of the game secured SU’s victory.
Next game: Friday, Feb. 4 at USMMA – 5:30 p.m.