SEGUIN, Texas – Sophomore forward McKenzee Gertz scored 18 points and grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds, but it was Colorado College’s defense that was the difference in Friday’s 62-50 victory over Southwestern University in the opening game of the 2019 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at Texas Lutheran University.
CC kept the Pirates off the board for nearly nine minutes midway through the second half and the Tigers utilized an 11-0 run to turn a two-point deficit into a nine-point advantage with 9:40 remaining in the game.
After falling behind 38-36 with 6:14 remaining, Colorado College scored eight in a row and held Southwestern scoreless while building a 44-38 cushion after 30 minutes.
CC took a 47-38 lead when Izzy Hensley dialed long distance 20 seconds into the fourth quarter and SU’s scoring drought reached 8:50 before Kelsey Faykus scored on a layup to pull her team to within 47-40. That, however, was as close as Southwestern would get.
The Pirates pulled to within eight on a Noel Pratts layup with 1:10 to play, but Colorado College sealed the victory by making nine of 10 free throws during the final 64 seconds.
Senior guard Casey Torbet and sophomore guard Jade Odom added 12 points apiece for the Tigers, who improved to 12-13 overall and earned a showdown with top-seeded Trinity University in the tournament’s first semifinal on Saturday at noon CT.
Torbet climbed into 10th place on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,096 points, eclipsing Beth Branson’s (1981-85) mark of 1,091.
Odom added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Hensley added 11 points, while junior forward Julie Moore pulled down eight rebounds.
After trailing by five points with 2:05 remaining in the first quarter, Colorado College scored six in a row to take an 11-10 lead when Hensley sank a pair of free throws with 26 seconds to go.
CC led 25-19 when Odom hit a pair of free throws with 3:32 to play before halftime.
Southwestern rallied to re-gain the lead when Cecily Woolfolk completed a three-point play with 49 seconds to go, but Hensley drained a triple from the right corner seven seconds later to give the Tigers a 31-29 halftime lead.
Woolfolk led the Pirates with 13 points, while Tori Carraway finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Southwestern finished the season with a 12-14 record, with three losses coming against Colorado College.