by Tom Utescher
Senior forward Lindsay Alexander scored her 1000th career point, but last Wednesday evening there was little else to celebrate for the home crowd as the Chestnut Hill College women hosted a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest.
One positive footnote attached to the Griffins’ 2-14 record is that in most of the team’s setbacks the final margin has been well down in single digits, but there was nothing close about last week’s encounter with visiting Holy Family University, whose team was ranked 11th in the preeminent national NCAA Division II coaches’ poll.
Although Holy Family has been a fixture in the national Top 25 for many years now, some CHC teams of the recent past have hung with the Tigers up until halftime and beyond. Not this time, as the visitors charged ahead 18-5 over the first seven minutes and maintained absolute control until the scoreboard stopped at 86-53.
Holy Family (16-2 overall) ascended to a mark of 10-1 in the CACC, where their only blemish is a one-point loss to North Jersey’s Caldwell College. Chestnut Hill’s Griffins came away still searching for a conference victory following their ninth attempt.
Knowledgeable followers of Mount St. Joseph Academy hoops would have immediately recognized two Holy Family starters. The Tigers’ star forward, Erin Mann, is a product of Villa Maria, and guard Mary Ellen McCollum comes from another Catholic Academies team, St. Basil. The latter school also supplied the Tigers with reserve guard Erin Fenningham. An assistant coach for the team, Bethann (Castone) Burke is a former 1000-point scorer for Chestnut Hill College, and is married to former CHC player and current assistant men’s coach Dan Burke.
After Mann banked in the first basket of the game from close range, the Griffins enjoyed their only lead of the evening when freshman guard Brittany McDonough canned a three-pointer from the left wing. A pair of free throws by Mann gave the visitors back the lead, and they never lost it again, following up with three lay-ups and a pair of three-balls for an early 14-point cushion.
Get in a hole like that and you need to start scoring back-to-back field goals, but the Griffins never managed that throughout the first half, which ended with a score of 44-20.
Beginning the night with 996 career points, Chestnut Hill’s Alexander was limited to a lone free throw in the first half. Less than two minutes into the second period she launched a shot from just above the keytop, and the ball dropped through to give her 1000 points on the nose. It was one of the few bright spots in the game for Griffins fans.
Coming alive in the second half, sophomore Lila Jones displayed some dynamic moves to collect all of her team-high 14 points after the interlude, but the Tigers never trailed by fewer than two dozen points throughout the period. Alexander finished the night with six points and senior classmate Latoya Laing, a guard, had 11.
The winners had four double-digit scorers: Mann (18), McCollum (10), and guards Maggie Seratelli (17) and Ana Cruz (13).