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Wildcats' free throw shooting runs afoul

January 19, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT — “How about our free throw shooting?” Williamsport girls basketball coach Chris Malott asked, shaking his head.

The Wildcats’ hopes of pulling an upset against Liberty on Wednesday night fell apart from the foul line, where Williamsport made just 11 of 27 attempts in a 52-35 loss.

Defensively, the Wildcats (3-8) played well, holding the Lions (7-2) to 29 percent shooting (18 for 62). But Williamsport struggled offensively, making 12 of 44 shots (27 percent).

Both teams made seven field goals in the first half, but the Wildcats made just 4 of 11 free throws while Liberty sank 10 of 13. Maggie McCormick’s baseline jumper at the buzzer gave the Lions a 25-18 halftime lead.

“We could have been leading at halftime. I loved our first half. If we hit our free throws, we’re ahead,” Malott said. “You can’t miss free throws against any team, especially that team.

“I love our hustle. They’re busting their butts. We just need more confidence on the offensive end.”

Williamsport cut the lead to four twice in the third quarter before a 10-2 Liberty run made it 38-26 with 3:40 left in the period. The Wildcats never got closer than nine the rest of the game.

It was a struggle to get anything going for Williamsport, especially inside. Kayla Ewing didn’t start — she was ill earlier this week — but managed seven points. Stacey Christy was shut out for the first time this season.

“They have long arms and they’re good athletes,” Malott said of Liberty’s defenders. “We wanted to pound the ball inside, but when we got it there, we curled up like a cocoon.”

McCormick led Liberty with 19 points, 13 coming in the second half as the Lions pulled away. Hailey Marlott added 10 points.

Chelsea Myers led Williamsport with 10 points. Allison Gulnac had eight rebounds, Ewing grabbed seven boards and Christy and Casey Arnone each had six rebounds.

Williamsport won the JV game 45-40 behind Erin Palmer’s 17 points.

Liberty 52, Williamsport 35
LIBERTY (7-2)

Marlatt 2 6-8 10, K. McCormick 1 4-4 6, Cross 3 2-4 8, M. McCormick 9 0-1 19, Carr 1 0-0 3, Coughlin 1 2-3 4, Johnston 1 0-0 2. Totals 18-62 14-20 52.
WILLIAMSPORT (3-8)
Myers 3 4-10 10, Gulnac 3 0-3 6, Scott 1 3-4 5, Arnone 2 2-4 6, Ewing 3 1-4 7, Willingham 0 1-2 1. Totals 12-44 11-27 35.
Liberty    16    9    13    14    —    52
Williamsport    11    7    9    8    —    35

3-point goals — Liberty 2 (M. McCormick, Carr). Rebounds — Liberty 38 (Coughlin 6), Williamsport 40 (Gulnac 8). Turnovers — Liberty 20, Williamsport 27. Fouled out — Cross, Carr.

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