Teammates call Holy Cross senior point guard Robin Colbert "Go-Hard Barbie" for her petite frame and hustle. Coach Russell Davis calls her "the glue" of the team.
Last night in the third quarter of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final at Gallaudet, 19th-ranked St. John's could call her nothing but trouble.
Colbert scored 11 of her 17 points in the third quarter and had three of her six steals in that period to help Holy Cross surge to a 15-point lead. The Cadets cut it to one in the final minute before the 12th-ranked Tartans secured a 50-43 win at the foul line for their first WCAC title since 1981.
The Tartans (24-5) cited their 1-3-1 zone that would dissolve into man-to-man coverage as crucial to breaking open the game and limiting St. John's to its second-lowest output this season. Frittering away a huge second-half lead against Bishop McNamara in the semifinals on Monday also got their attention, as did busloads of boisterous purple-clad students who filled almost an entire section behind the Holy Cross bench last night.
"We have a history of having a third-quarter slump, and we felt very seriously about making that not happen," senior forward Monica McNutt said.
The fourth quarter was another story; the Tartans managed one field goal. St. John's went from being down 42-28 to closing within 44-43 when senior guard Katherine DeHenzel drove for a basket with 49 seconds left. Seconds later, down by three, the Cadets (20-10) turned the ball over, and McNutt made four foul shots in the final 25 seconds.
"In that third quarter, they just came out on fire," said St. John's Coach Eddie Simpson, whose team was making its 11th title berth in 12 years, last winning in 2004. "They just shot the hell out of the ball in the third quarter."
No. 12 Holy Cross 50,
No. 19 St. John's 43
Girl Power: Holy Cross considered its WCAC title game win a gender triumph as well. "A lot of all-girls' schools don't get recognition," senior guard Robin Colbert said. "This was big not only for us, but for other all-girls' schools."
Up Next: Holy Cross advances to the City Title Game Monday at Verizon Center.