WILMINGTON — Ursuline had an 18-point third-quarter lead whittled down to two, but the Raiders tightened up the defense late and cashed in from the free throw line in a 51-41 win over Woodbridge on Jan. 23.
Buckets by Lauren Dorsey and Emma Raftovich midway through the third pushed the Raiders’ advantage to 33-15. A free throw from Payton Keeler started the comeback for the Blue Raiders, who came into the game ranked sixth in the state by Delaware Live/302Sports.
The Blue Raiders went into an aggressive half-court trap, pestering No. 5 Ursuline each time they touched the ball. De’Asya Jones poked the ball away from a Raider and went the distance for a layup. Janeira Scott was next, knocking the ball loose and going coast to coast, cutting the lead to 13. Ursuline called a timeout.
After a turnover or two for each team, Woodbridge picked up a three-pointer by freshman Reghan Robinson. She hit another from the right wing as the buzzer sounded to end the third, cutting the Ursuline lead to 33-26.
Hannah Kelley ended the Blue Raiders’ run at 11 with a free throw, but the visitors just kept on coming. Scoring was at a premium through the first three minutes of the final quarter, then the floodguates open somewhat.
Hannah Kelley scored on a short field goal to put the Raiders up 40-30 before the Blue Raiders mounted a furious comeback. Sierra Smith scored on an old-fashioned three-point play. Smith stepped back from the line, turned her focus to defense and stole an Ursuline pass. She drove the lane for a layup and was fouled again. She made the free throw, giving her six points in a matter of seconds. A foul on Ursuline put them into the penalty, and two free throws by Jones ran the streak to eight points and made the score 40-38.
After another near-steal by Woodbridge, Chamira Marshall Brothers lgot loose behind the defense for a much-need layup. Despite the intense defensive pressure, Ursuline was able to hold off the Blue Raiders. Seven of their final nine points came from the free throw line, with Emily Raucidlo going six for six from the line in the quarter.
Rzucidlo led all scorers with 22. She also had a number of rebounds and steals for the Raiders. Kelley had nine. Ursuline improved to 3-1 and will travel three blocks to Padua on Thursday for a 7:15 p.m. start.
Jones had 11 to pace the Blue Raiders (2-1). They are back in action on Tuesday at home against Lake Forest at 6:30 p.m.