KINGS POINT, N.Y. – A closely-played 40 minutes ultimately went the way of the Susquehanna women’s basketball team as the Crusaders took down USMMA 68-64 in road action on Saturday afternoon.
SU (6-9, 1-3) saw three players reach double figures, led by 18 from sophomore guard Eleni Dimou (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh). Ainsley Rossitto (Rocky Hill, Conn./Kingswood-Oxford) broke out for a season-high 13 points while Shannon Grunwald (Neshanic Station, N.J./Somerville) scored 12 and Mariah Monahan (Towanda, Pa./Towanda Area) added 10 points.
The team shot better than 58 percent from three-point range (7-of-12) and boasted a 43 percent showing from the floor. Another key in SU’s win was the team’s bench, as the Crusaders out-scored the USMMA bench 37-9.
The Mariners (6-6, 1-4) held a slim lead for the majority of the opening minutes until a Rossitto three with 14:24 on the clock put SU ahead by three (8-5). A Grunwald layup just one minute later kept her team in the lead by three (10-7).
USMMA regained a small lead until two Grunwald free throws knotted it at 14-all with 12:06 left in the half. The Mariners were able to take a five-point edge (19-14) midway through the half before Monahan sank a three at the 8:30 mark to again tie the game (19-19).
From there the lead swapped sides and the teams went into halftime tied at 27-27.
USMMA scored the first points of the second half but Monahan’s jumper two minutes into the period again made it a tie game (29-29). Rossitto was able to put SU back up by five (39-34) on a layup and Dimou connected on a three-pointer with 10:37 remaining to make it a 45-41 ballgame.
That lead grew to eight points (49-41) on a Dimou layup inside the 10-minute mark but five minutes later, the Mariners cut that lead to just one point, 57-56, with 5:05 to play.
USMMA never actually regained the lead, however, as two Rossitto free throws with just one second left iced the game at 68-66.
The Crusaders retake the court on Wednesday when they host Catholic at 7 p.m.
Crusaders Edge Mariners in Road Battle