WILMINGTON – Tenth-ranked Padua hit 29 of 40 free throws to defeat No. 6 Archmere, 71-58, in a very entertaining game on Jan. 10.
The Auks jumped out to a 5-0 lead early behind a three-pointer from Madison Stewart and a driving layup by Catherine McGonigle. But the Pandas reeled off nine straight, including a three-point shot by Haley Scott and four free throws by Paige Kenton. Lauren Kim added a three-pointer to help Padua to a 16-9 lead after a quarter.
The Pandas scored the first four of the second stanza to extend the lead to 20-9 before the Auks got their offense going. McGonigle and Fiona Teaney combined for 11 points as Archmere closed the half on a 19-9 run to cut the Pandas’ lead to 29-28 at halftime. Padua’s halftime success was due in large part to free-throw shooting; the Pandas made 15 of 16 attempts, including eight of eight by Kenton.
Michelle Kozicki started hot in the third quarter, hitting some early shots and scoring eight points. The Auks, meanwhile, nailed three deep triples, one each from Stewart, McGonigle and Emma McCann. Then Stewart finished off an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the score at 42. The Pandas ended the quarter on a 5-1 run to take a 47-43 advantage into the final quarter.
The Pandas started pulling away in the fourth quarter. Scott and Kozicki each hit big threes, and Kenton made her lone two-point field goal as the lead grew to 66-52. Padua made some free throws down the stretch to seal the home win.
“We relied on what we worked on in practice after the loss to St. Elizabeth,” she said. “The coaches gave us the confidence to come out and get the big win tonight.”