American, Navy fall in Women's NIT first round games

Navy's Audrey Bauer

March 20, 2014

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- A record four Patriot League teams were selected for postseason play but only tournament champion Army remains following a pair of tough losses in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday night.

Navy, the Patriot League regular season champion, traveled to Norfolk, Va. to take on Old Dominion in the first round. The Mids battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit to grab a three-point lead, but ultimately ended up on the wrong end of a 68-60 score.

In South Orange, N.J., the Big East's Seton Hall held a lead for much of the game, but had a hard time shaking pesky American before finally prevailing 63-60 in Walsh Gymnasium.

With Bucknell's ouster from the Women's Basketball Invitational by Maine on Wednesday night, only Army's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament matchup with Maryland on Sunday remains on the docket. The No. 13 Black Knights would need to get past the Terps, seeded fourth, to advance to the second round on Tuesday.

at Old Dominion 68, Navy 60

Box score

Shae Kelley scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half to help Old Dominion hold off the Navy women's basketball team, 68-60, Thursday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., in a WNIT first-round game.

Four Mids scored in double figures with Audrey Bauer leading the way with 17 points. Jade Geif scored 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds and Alix Membreno tallied 14 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Chloe Stapleton made four three-point field goals to finish with 12 points.

The Monarchs closed the first half on a 14-4 run to take a 39-30 lead into intermission. Navy chipped away over the first eight minutes of the second half and grabbed a 51-48 advantage with 11 minutes remaining. Old Dominion then made a concerted effort to get the ball inside to Kelly and she scored the Monarchs next 12 points to give ODU a 60-53 lead.

Stapleton hit a three-point field goal on the ensuing possession, but the Mids could get no closer than four points the rest of the way.

The loss brings Navy's 2013-14 season to a close. The Mids posted a school record 24 wins (in 32 games) this year and won the first outright Patriot League regular season title in program history with a 15-3 mark in league games. Old Dominion will move on to the second round of the WNIT where it will play Auburn.

at Seton Hall 63, American 60

Box score

The American University women's basketball team couldn't complete a comeback on Thursday night in South Orange, N.J., as it fell to Seton Hall, 63-60, in the first round of the WNIT.

Alexis Dobbs led the team with 24 points, one shy off her career mark, and went 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. Jen Dumiak scored 18 points for the Eagles with a team-high six boards. Shaquilla Curtis and Dumiak dished out four assists apiece.

Dumiak helped the Eagles get off to a quick start by hitting a three-point field goal and two more jump shots for a 7-0 lead, but the Pirates responded with a 12-0 run to take the lead.

The two teams traded baskets for much of the remainder of the first half with Seton Hall taking a 30-27 advantage in to the locker room. The teams fell in to the same pattern in the second half with American cutting into a Pirates lead, but never overtaking them.

Bra'Shey Ali led Seton Hall with 18 points and 20 rebounds and Tabatha Richardson-Smith and Ka-Deidre Simmons also finished in double-figures with 14 points apiece

The Eagles finish the year with an overall record of 22-10 after earning its first at-large postseason berth in program history.