Welch FTs Give Goucher First Lead, Landmark Win

Welch FTs Give Goucher First Lead, Landmark Win

TOWSON, Md. — Goucher caught fire in the second half, scoring as many points in the third quarter as it did in the first two combined, and entered the fourth trailing Drew by only five points. The Gophers made that up — and more — as Monique Welch (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) hit two free throws with 7.4 seconds left to take a 62-61 lead.

The fate of head coach Patrick Daniel's squad was sealed when the Rangers missed a pair of foul shots on the other end, resulting in Goucher's first Landmark Conference win of the season.

Trailing 61-60 with :33 showing on the clock, the Gophers forced a contested layup by Hannah Miller, which was rebounded by Olivia Nono (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair). Eventually, that sent Welch to the line where she completed a 6-of-6 performance at the free-throw line by making both of her attempts.

It was Goucher's first lead of the entire contest.

One minute into the fourth, Nono nailed a jumper which started a 6-0 run that was capped off by India Perkins (Brentwood, Md./Bladensburg) making a layup to tie the game at 49 apiece. Though, the Rangers (7-11, 4-5 Landmark) always seemed to have an answer. Courtney Stephens made two layups, one with 6:41 on the clock and the other with 5:58, to break the tie and swing a two-point advantage in favor of the visiting team. 

Heading into the third quarter, staring at an 18-point deficit at the half, the Gophers needed something, anything, to happen to spark a comback. That spark came midway through as Hannah Kuehl (Plymouth, N.H./Plymouth Regional) and Briana Bull (Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills) cashed in back-to-back steals for four points to cut Drew's lead to nine. From there, shots were made — one coming off the hands of Bull as she knocked down a jumper as time expired. 

"Being down 18 points and giving so much effort in the second half helped get us this great team win," Daniel commented after the game. "I am so proud of this team for never quitting.

"We have to build on this and get ready for our next game on Wednesday."

Drew opened up the game on a 9-0 run, led 19-8 at the end of the first quarter and 39-21 at halftime.

Amaka Ezeani (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored seven of the team's 21 points in the first half and finished with 15 points on the night. She tallied eight total rebounds, six being defensive, which gave Goucher opportunities to score down the stretch.

Bull made two shots in the opening 20 minutes but settled down in the second half as she was 6-for-11 from the field and hit two free throws — for a team-high 18 points.

Welch notched 12 points for the Gophers.

Goucher travels to Huntingdon, Pa. on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off against Juniata.