WILMINGTON — Ursuline turned a one-point game at halftime into a sizeable lead thanks to a 15-point run that ran from the mid-third into the fourth quarter in a 41-31 win at Padua in Catholic Conference basketball on Jan. 28.
Emily Rzucidlo and Emma Raftovich scored on back-to-back possessions at the beginning of the third quarter, prompting a Pandas timeout. With the Raiders sealing off any access inside, Pandas freshman Grace Tretotola dialed long distance, hitting from far beyond the three-point arc to make it 23-21 Ursuline with about five minutes left in the third.
But those would be Padua’s lone points of the third. The Raiders caused all kinds of problems for the Pandas with their aggressive defense, and it paid dividends at the offensive end. Raftovich started the run with a free throw, and Rzucidlo scored a minute later on a layup after Ella Gordon found her on a back-door cut. Raftovich hit two more free throws, and after a rebound, Rzucidlo drove into the lane for a runner. She was fouled on the play and missed the free throw, but the Raiders picked up the offensive board. That possession ended with Rzucidlo finding a lane and adding another layup.
The teams traded turnovers to open the fourth, but Rzucidlo turned her steal into another layup, with another foul. Again, the free throw was not good, but Hannah Kelley was there to pick up the loose change. Her layup extended the lead to 36-21. The teams went two minutes before the next field goal, which came on in transition from Kelly.
Natalia Frabizzio picked up a loose ball near midcourt after the Raiders coughed it up, and her layup with 2:57 remaining ended the Raiders’ run at 15. Padua found an extra gear after that, outscoring Ursuline, 8-3, over the last few minutes. Those points included three-pointers by both Frabizzio and Kate MacLennan.
Points were at a premium in the first half, with both teams playing stifling defense, and the turnovers accumulating. The Raiders took a 10-5 lead after a quarter, with all their points coming inside from Rzucidlo and Kelley. The Pandas climbed back into it in the second, with Grace Trerotola hitting from the outside for seven points.
Rzucidlo had 16 points and Kelley had 12 for the Raiders, who improved to 4-1. Ursuline visits Archmere on Monday at 6:15 p.m.
Trerotola led the Pandas with 12, and MacLennan had 10. Padua (0-7) is at Saint Mark’s on Monday night at 7:15.
All photos by Mike Lang.