Girls’ basketball: McNamara knocks off No. 2 St. John’s, 67-66

January 7, 2012

Locked in a one-possession game with No. 2 St. John’s with seven seconds left Saturday afternoon, McNamara Coach Gary Lee wanted to make one thing clear to his team during a timeout.

“Seven seconds is an eternity,” he recalled saying. “It’s a long time. So don’t just jack it up. We have so much speed we can get the ball up fast enough and pick our shot.”

That’s what senior guard Carrie Alexander did. She took a pass around midcourt and had an open look near the free-throw line but then went to her right to the short corner, pulled up just before the buzzer and nailed a shot for a 67-66 win at the Show Place Arena, a victory that adds further intrigue to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference race.

St. John’s junior guard Lindsay Allen had made two free throws with seven seconds left to give her team a one-point lead.

“She pushed it down and got to her sweet spot,” Lee said of Alexander, who scored a career-high 27 points despite being taken out a couple of times for forcing her shot.

Senior guard-forward Jasmine Boyd added 19 points for McNamara (9-4, 2-3 in the WCAC), almost doubling her season high. Senior guard Chanice Lee had 8 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.

For St. John’s (11-4, 4-1 in the WCAC), senior guard Mooriah Rowser scored 19 points, Allen 14 and junior forward Tori Oliver 12 by making all 12 of her foul shot attempts.

McNamara’s victory marked the second WCAC upset of the week. On Tuesday, Carroll knocked off No. 4 Holy Cross, 66-63. Carroll also has beaten McNamara (9-4, 2-3). But Carroll lost to No. 16 Paul VI Catholic on Friday. Paul VI also has beaten McNamara.

Paul VI (11-2, 4-0) plays at No. 3 Good Counsel (12-3, 5-0) on Tuesday. Those are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the WCAC.

Lee was not buying the preseason talk that the conference was top-heavy with St. John’s, Good Counsel and Holy Cross, teams that played last month in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona.

“I knew better than that because our league is the toughest league in the country and you can’t just say who’s going to beat who,” Lee said. “You’ve got to play the games. We know each other very well.”

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