With top scorer K.C. Comerford fouled out and second-leading scorer Abbie Dillon's range cut drastically by a broken finger, top-seeded Georgetown sank 14 of its last 17 foul shots to edge the University of the District of Columbia, 83-77, in the semifinal of the Catholic University Women's Invitational Tourney last night.
In the other semifinal George Washington topped Howard, 68-53.
Georgetown and UDC seesawed from the start. The Firebirds, ahead 72-66, seemed to have the game in hand with four minutes left when Comerford, who had 20 points and seven assists, fouled out.
But the Hoyas ran off eight straight points -- all from the foul line -- to take a 74-72 lead. The Hoyas, who shot 44 foul shots to UDC's 13, got six clutch free throws from Kathy Hepp (who had missed her first three), a follow-up bucket by Hepp and four foul shots by Erin Reid to sew the game up.
UDC Coach Bessie Stockard was composed yet obviously furious over the glut of Hoya free throws.
"First, the seeding on the tournament was way off," she said. 'These two teams should have met in the finals. I haven't seen the statistics, but they must have shot 40 foul shots. I was told by a referee last night that we would not get past the semifinals of this tournament."
Shortly afterward, UDC women's athletic director Emma Best said the Firebirds would not play in today's consolation game because of the "poor officiating," "one-sided seeding of the teams" and "problems with the official clock."
"All I can say is our team won because we played better," said a Hoya assistant coach, Mary Briese. "We deserved to win. Our defense was holding up well in the end, we were doing a good job on the boards and I'm just happy we were able to make our foul shots. UDC is a touch, aggressive team. They came back so many times tonight."
Despite the broken index finger on her shooting hand, Dillon had 17 points, as did Reid. Gwendolyn Jones scored 26 for UDC.
George Washington showed why it has been billed as a second-half team in its victory over Howard. The Colonials appeared inept in the first half and next to invincible in the second.
Howard took an 8-0 lead and the Colonials didn't score a field goal in the first five minutes of the game. Howard kept up its sharp play and had a 32-19 halftime lead, paced by Carol Baylock's 10 points and seven rebounds and eight points from Debra Davis. George Washington shot a dismay 21.5 percent that half and got just one point from star forward Trish Egan.
The second half was a complete turnabout. GW scored the first 10 points as Egan and Carol found the range.Byrd's two foul shots with 11:35 remaining put the Colonials ahead to stay, 39-38. Byrd started connecting from long range and the Colonials were suddenly up, 60-45, with five minutes left. Byrd finished with 18 points. Leslie Bond had 12 and Egan added 11. George Washington shot 52 percent in the second half while connecting on 17 of 24 foul shots. Howard shot 17 percent in the second half. c
Byrd, at a loss to explain the contrasting faces of the team, said, "We just pulled together at halftime. We play bad in the first half a lot and all we have to do is keep our heads in the game in the second and run. We played real well in the second half tonight."