MADISON, N.J. — Amaka Ezeani (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored 20 points, and Taje Burston (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Central) added a career-high 19, but it was not enough for Goucher to overcome a large free throw disparity in its 71-60 loss at Drew this afternoon.
The Rangers (10-7, 3-3 Landmark) made 18 of 24 attempts from the charity stripe, while the Gophers (5-11, 1-5) managed only seven attempts from the line, hitting five of those free shots.
Burston was hot from the outset, nailing two of her five 3-pointers for the contest in the opening 5:18. Drew, though, controlled the middle portion of the first half and held a 32-18 advantage with 6:04 remaining.
A jumper from Precious Kollock (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco) began a 10-2 run for Goucher to end the half, and the Gophers trailed by only six heading into the break.
Ezeani made three early layups in the second half to reduce the deficit to 36-34, and Sharnell Huff (Bowie, Md./Bowie) sank a jump shot with 15:35 left to pull Goucher within one at 41-40, but the Rangers again controlled the middle part of the frame. A layup from Brianna Reich gave Drew its largest lead at 60-45 with just over seven minutes to play.
The Gophers fought back once again, as a Huff jumper capped off a 15-5 stretch and made it 65-60 Rangers with 2:10 remaining. Goucher could not score again, however, and Drew hit six free throws in the closing seconds to account for the final margin.
Ezeani did much of her damage in the second half, scoring 14 points and grabbing five of her seven rebounds after the intermission. This was the second time this year that the sophomore center has reached the 20-point mark in a game.
Goucher struggled all night to contain Drew's Breana Wilson. The junior guard totaled 25 points and 11 rebounds, and she made 9 of 12 attempts from the free throw line. Wilson and Courtney Stephens combined to go 11 for 13 from the line in the second half as the Rangers took advantage of their extra free attempts.
Burston's five 3-pointers were tied for the most in a game by a Gopher this season. She surpassed her previous career-high of 14 which was set in the season opener against Wilkes on Nov. 15.
Goucher returns to the court on Wednesday night with a challenging 7 p.m. road matchup at Catholic (12-4, 5-1).