HARTFORD, CT – The Smith College basketball team’s historic season came to an end in the NCAA Division III semifinals Saturday night. The No. 4 Pioneers fell to No. 2 Transylvania 76-65 in the Final Four at Ray Oosting Gymnasium on the campus of Trinity College.
Smith, which was playing in its first NCAA Semifinal in school history, sees its season come to a close at 30-2. Transylvania (32-0) will play Christopher Newport for the National Championship on Saturday, April 1 in Dallas.
By the Numbers
- Morgan Morrison (Detroit, Mi/Detroit Country Day) led Smith with 24 points, shooting 11-of-13 from the floor with eight rebounds
- Katelyn Pickunka (Westhampton, Mass./Hampshire) followed with 21 points and 14 rebounds for the double-double
- Jane Loo (Saratoga, CA/Saratoga) and Ally Yamada (Seal Beach, Calif./Fairmont Prep Academy) each added eight points off the bench
- Smith held the 38-37 edge in rebounds
- The Pioneers shot 40-.3% from the field and 64.3% from the free throw line but struggled from three-point range going just 2-of-21
- Transylvania shot 51.9% from the floor, 26.3% from three-point range and 68.2% from the free throw line
- The Battle of the Pioneers started with an offensive showcase in the first quarter. Transylvania jumped out to a 6-0 lead and shot 50 percent from the floor and All-Region guard Madison Kellione went 3-for-3 from the field, but Transylvania trailed 17-14 at the break due in part to the pair of Morrison and Pickunka who totaled 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting.
- The game turned midway through the second period when the WBCA National Player of the Year Morrison was called for her second personal foul and forced to sit with 6:23 left in the half. From that point, Transylvania ended the half on a 16-6 run to hold a 38-31 advantage at the break.
- Foul trouble continued to be a factor as Morrison had two more called on her in the opening 1:30 of the third. Transylvania was able to take advantage in her absence and lead 57-42 after the third.
- Facing elimination, Smith put Morrison back on the floor and the rest of its offense started to come alive. Yamada and Loo knocked down back-to-back threes that pulled Smith within 57-48 early in the fourth quarter. Late in the period, Yamada drilled another three that…
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