Nichols provides late heroics for victory

Lindsey Nichols (c) 2014 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Lindsey Nichols (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) finished with a team-high 14 points. However, it was the final four points that proved most critical, coming in the game's final 1.3 seconds to rally McDaniel to a 51-49 Centennial Conference (CC) women's basketball victory over Swarthmore on Saturday.

Trailing 49-45 when Elle Larsen finished her game-high 18 points for the Garnet (12-10, 7-9 CC) with 34.6 seconds remaining, the Green Terror (17-5, 12-4 CC) turned the ball over on its ensuing possession – and that's when the real craziness began.

Trapped just over halfcourt, a foul was called. However, Swarthmore called a timeout from the bench before the foul occurred.

Inbounding with 18.4 seconds left, the Garnet was whistled for an offensive foul, giving McDaniel the ball back.

Emma Wingerd (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) was fouled on a rebound and converted both ends of a 1-and-1 with 10.6 seconds on the clock.

An immediate foul put Swarthmore at the line for a two-shot bonus with 9.7 seconds left. Both free throws rimmed out and Wingerd corralled her team-best 12th rebound of the game. Brittney Davis (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) hit a Nichols, who threw up a runner in the lane that went to knot the game.

The Garnet called another timeout to set up one final play. The inbounds pass sailed high and out of bounds in its frontcourt, untouched, bringing the ball back under the basket for McDaniel.

After a Green Terror timeout, Codi McMaster (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove), inbounding to the right of her basket, found a curling Nichols on the block. The sophomore's shot banked off the glass and fell through as the final horn sounded.

Wingerd and McMaster finished with 10 points apiece to give Wingerd her seventh double-double of the season. Steph Perez (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) finished with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for her first career double-double. Perez canned three 3-pointers to leave her one shy of the tying the program record for career triples (144).

Tied at 2-all early on, two McMaster free throws and two Wingerd baskets gave the Green Terror an 8-2 lead with 15:05 remaining in the first half.

The Garnet, behind six of Katie Lytle's 13 points, tallied 10 of the game's next 12 points to take a 12-10 lead with 9:11 showing.

Jumpers from Wingerd and McMaster put McDaniel back in front 1 minute, 22 seconds later before a Kayla Moritzky layup and four straight Larsen points gave the visitors an 18-14 edge.

A Perez triple and two Nichols layups keyed a 9-0 finish to the first half that gave McDaniel a 23-18 advantage at the intermission.

Karli Zeps (Reisterstown, Md./Seton Keough) extended the lead to 25-18 out of the locker room before two Larsen baskets around a Lytle layup closed the deficit to on with 16:45 showing.

Two Nichols free throws with 14:27 remaining gave the Green Terror a 30-27 edge before Stephanie Lechich evened the score with a 3-pointer.

Larsen put Swarthmore back in front by two with 12:57 to play before Perez hit a triple at the 10:30 mark for a 33-32 edge.

Lechich countered with a triple of her own before Wingerd hit a baseline jumper to knot the game at 35-all with 9:57 showing.

Nichols put McDaniel back in front 21 seconds later before a Maggie O'Neil 3-pointer sparked a 12-4 run that gave the Garnet a 47-41 lead with 3:02 to play.

A Perez putback and Davis steal-and-layup closed the deficit to two with 1:44 to play before the Larsen layup set up the final 35 seconds.

Davis finished with four points while Nichols added three steals.

The Green Terror returns to action at Johns Hopkins on Wednesday. Game time is 6 p.m.

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Lindsey Nichols hits the game-winner

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