LANCASTER, Pa. - Alison Menna registered a team-high 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting to lead four players in double figures and help Franklin & Marshall post a 74-57 Centennial Conference (CC) women's basketball victory over Swarthmore on Wednesday night.
The Diplomats dominated the interior game, holding a 48-21 edge in points in the paint to collect their third conference win and even their record at 5-5. Sarah Meisenberg contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Casey Downie matched that with 13 points. Cara Landolfi was the fourth player to reach double digits with 10 points.
The Garnet's (5-6, 2-2 CC) forward Kathryn Stockbower posted her 10th double-double of the year, recording game highs with 23 points and 14 rebounds and Ceylan Bodur chipped in 16 points and four assists.
The anticipated match-up of two of the top players in the conference (Stockbower and Meisenberg) turned on a 12-0 run by Franklin & Marshall early in the second half. Facing a six-point deficit after halftime, Bodur drilled a three-pointer in transition, bringing the Garnet within one, 36-35, at 17:14.
The Diplomats exploded for the deciding run over the next four minutes, as dribble penetration by the F&M guards opened up easy lay-ups for the forwards. Beth Holt found Downie alone in the paint at 17:05 and the duo repeated the combination at 13:30 to cap the run with a 48-35 lead.
Stockbower converted an offensive rebound opportunity to stem the run but foul trouble forced her to the bench and the Diplomats took advantage, building a lead as large as 65-39. The Garnet fought back late in the game, getting within 14 after a lay-in by Bodur.
The pace of the game clipped along for the first ten minutes of the opening half with the teams exchanging the lead six times. Holt hooked up with Downie for a lay-up and a 10-9 lead at 12:20.
Stockbower responded with a pair of swishes at the charity stripe, handing the lead back to the visitors, 11-10, on the next possession.
F&M extended the pressure to full-court, generating a 9-4 run. Miriam Marcis dropped in a pair of free throws to put the hometown team out front, 25-18, with 5:31 left. The next few minutes belonged to Meisenberg. The speedy guard picked up two steals on the defensive end and led a flurry of fast-breaks. Meisenberg assisted on two lay-ups and converted a third, giving the Diplomats a 10-point advantage, 34-24, with 2:54 left in the half.
Stockbower responded for Swarthmore with four points, sandwiching Bodur free-throws to cut into the Diplomats' halftime advantage. Stockbower led all scorers with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the free-throw line as Swarthmore trailed, 34-30, at the intermission.
Allison Bauer led F&M with nine points at half. The Diplomats shot 49.1 percent from the floor on the night and picked up 12 steals, while Swarthmore held a slight 36-34 advantage on the glass.
F&M returns to action on Saturday at Washington. Game time is 2 p.m.