BALTIMORE, Md. – Kyani Quarles (Houston, Texas/Cristo Rey Jesuit) introduced herself to Decker Sports and Recreation Center fans with a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds to lift Goucher College past St. Mary's College 64-52 in non-conference women's basketball action on Sunday.
Quarles finished 11-for-16 from the floor and 3 of 4 from the foul line to notch her first collegiate 20-point performance. The freshman had 15 field goals in her first five games before becoming a force inside for the Gophers on Sunday. It was her third career double-figure performance and the seventh 20-point game for the team in 2019-20, but marked the first of the season the trick was not coming from Alayna McFadden (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) or Anise Williams (West Palm Beach, Fla./The Benjamin School). Quarles also notched a career-best 13 boards to record her first career double-double and her second career 10+ rebound contest while the freshman has hauled in at eight rebounds in five of her first six games.
McFadden tallied her second-straight double-double, third of the season and eighth of her career after posting 18 points and 11 rebounds against the Seahawks. The sophomore has registered double figures in points in five of six contests this season and 21 times in her career while she has recorded 13 games with at least 17 points.
After St. Mary's cut the margin to 5-4, Goucher rolled off the next eight points to take a 13-4 lead thanks to six Quarles points. Quarles would cap a 10-2 run in the final seven minutes of the quarter with another basket to finish with eight points in the first quarter and hand the Gophers a 15-6 lead.
The Gophers kept up the momentum of the first quarter with a 10-3 spurt to extend the advantage to 16 points at 25-9. Quarles had four points while Williams added a trey in this stretch.
The Seahawks answered with an 11-0 run to make it a five-point game before McFadden scored five-straight points to help Goucher go into the locker room with a 31-22 lead.
An 11-4 run helped the Gophers retake a 16-point lead at 42-26 midway through the third quarter. Quarles was once again the catalyst with six points in the spurt. Goucher went into the fourth quarter with a 46-34 margin.
St. Mary's made the game interesting by scoring 18 of the first 30 points of the final stanza to cut the deficit to 58-52 with three minutes left. McFadden and Williams combined to score the final six points to seal a 64-52 win.
Williams was held to single digits for the first time this season and only the fifth time in 30 games, but she did notch 10 rebounds for the first time this year and the fifth time in her career.
Jorryn Avery (Glen Burnie, Md./Severn School) added nine points and five rebounds to help the Gophers improve to 4-2 on the year and post its best start since the 2014-15 season. That season the team also won both its season opener and its Decker debut.
This was the first meeting between the two teams since the Baltimore program joined the Landmark Conference. Goucher recognized business professor David Grossman as an honorary guest coach for the impact that he has on the Gophers women's basketball players.
Goucher returns to action when the team continues its four-game homestand on Wednesday against Shenandoah University. Game time is 7 p.m.