MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Senior Kelly O’Dell posted her fifth double-double of the season and classmate Noelle Grande added five assists but the Screaming Eagles fell to visiting Lancaster Bible 74-62 on Saturday in the regular season finale for both North Eastern Athletic Conference teams.
But in a more favorable twist, St. Elizabeth learned its season would continue: the Screaming Eagles clinched the No.3 seed in the South Division NEAC Championships for the second consecutive season.
The Screaming Eagles finished 9-9 in the conference to nudge out Penn State Berks (8-10) and Penn State Abington (7-11).
St. Elizabeth will face Penn State Harrisburg (13-5), the No. 2 seed, in the first round this coming week. Date and game time will be announced shortly by the NEAC commissioner.
On Saturday, it was Lancaster Bible (21-4, 16-2 NEAC) who came up on the winning side Saturday in the re-match from last year’s North Eastern Athletic Conference. The Chargers are the No. 1 overall seed in the NEAC Championships and will host the semifinals and finals next weekend in Lancaster, Pa.
Lancaster Bible built an early five-point lead, going up 10-5 at 16:12 when Brooklyn Wilson drilled a 3-pointer. CSE cut the deficit to one point on consecutive baskets by forwards Sharolin Sanders and Naquell Simmons.
The Chargers extended its advantage to 22-13 as guard Lauren Heliger chipped in with one of her two 3-pointers in the half.
The Screaming Eagles (11-13, 9-9 NEAC) swooped back in with a 15-7 run capped by a triple from O’Dell at 4:31 to get within 29-28.
The Chargers ended the first half on a 13-1 run and took a 42-29 lead into the locker room after shooting 57.7% from the field with a 19-12 edge on the backboards.
Folger led all scorers with 12 points at the intermission.
Lancaster Bible jumped out to a 16-point lead early in the second half. Twice, CSE fought back to get within 12 points by the Chargers hit on 21 of its 32 free throws to keep the hometown team at bay.
The Chargers shot 50 percent for the game, led by Folger’s double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Three other players found double figures for Lancaster Bible (Heliger 15; Sarah Heilenman 15; Wilson 14).
O’Dell hit 6 of her 11 shots for a team-high 16 points while grabbing seven offensive rebounds on the way to 11 caroms. O’Dell also added six steals and four assists. Junior Cheyenne Grant also made it to double figures with 11 points along with three steals and three assists.