The Carlow women’s basketball team fell to No. 21 Rio Grande, 76-64, in their regular-season finale on Senior Day, Saturday, Feb. 17, at Oakland Catholic.
The Celtics (10-16/5-12/5-3) gave a valiant effort against the No. 1 team in the River States Conference, which had posted a 22-game win streak earlier this season.
Carlow led by as many as 10 points, 22-12, in the second quarter and had a 33-28 advantage at halftime. Rio Grande (27-3/15-2) began to erase that lead in the third quarter, and tied the game for the first time, at 37, with 6:36 to play in the third quarter. The RedStorm took their first lead, 39-37, with the next basket.
Still Carlow hung around till midway through the fourth quarter. With 6:37 remaining, Emma Stille (SO/Columbus, Ohio) converted baskets on two consecutive put-backs to cut the Rio Grande lead to 54-51. The RedStorm called a timeout to regroup, and when play resumed they pulled away.
Stille led Carlow with 13 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. She finished the season with 17 double doubles and ranked first in rebounds per game and eighth in blocks per game in NAIA Division II, averaging 13.96 points, 14.96 rebounds, and 2.21 blocks per game.
Alexis Yanief (SR/Pittsburgh, Pa.) had 14 points and four steals against the RedStorm, and Chanel Sparks (SR/Columbia, Md.) added 11 points and three steals.
For Rio Grande, Sydney Holden had 14 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, two steals, and a block. Jasmine Smith led all scorers with 16 points, to go with six boards.
Before the contest, Carlow celebrated the careers of seniors Yanief, Sparks, Sami Simpson (Bethel Park, Pa.), and Noelle Vallimont (Erie, Pa.).
Under first-year head coach Tim Moore, the Celtics, projected to finish last in the River States Conference, ended the season fifth in the East Division and 10th of 13 teams in the league. They won 7 of their last 13 games, including four RSC games, despite ending the season against the top two teams in the league.