CALDWELL, N.J. – The Philadelphia University women's basketball team's reign atop the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) came to end after a 62-49 loss to Caldwell in the opening round of the CACC Tournament Saturday afternoon in the Newman Center.
Philadelphia—who was the defending conference champion—used strong defense over the first seven minutes to sprint out to a 12-5 lead. The Rams forced seven turnovers to keep the Cougars to only five shot attempts. Erin Maher (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) led the offensive effort with five points.
After Caldwell (24-4) closed the gap to 16-14 with 1:33 gone in the second quarter, Maher converted another Cougar turnover into a layup to spark 15-2 surge that would give Philadelphia a 31-16 advantage. The Rams shot the ball very well during the run, making seven of their eight attempts. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's defense turned up the pressure and held Caldwell to 1-of-7 shooting. Maher scored seven points during the run, while Erin Rafter (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.) contributed four points.
Philadelphia ended the first half shooting 45.2 percent (14-of-31) to lead 33-21 at the half.
Things went south for Philadelphia (14-15) in the third quarter as the Rams committed eight turnovers, forcing only one from the Cougars, and shot 27.3 percent (3-of-11). The Cougars started the third quarter by outscoring the Rams 17-2 during the opening seven minutes to take a three-point lead (38-35). Rachel Day (Horsham, Pa./Archbishop Wood) and Rafter both went 1-for-2 from the free throw line in the final 12 seconds of the quarter to pull the within 42-41.
Caldwell continued its solid play in the fourth quarter, extending its lead to 56-44 at the 4:27 mark. The Rams got as close as nine when Rafter made a free throw with 2:43 left and then drained a layup 27 seconds later to make the score 56-47.
Maher finished the game with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while Maher poured in 14 points. Jessica Kaminski added 10 points and six rebounds in a reserve role.
For Caldwell, Maura Kelty shot 10-of-14 from the field to end the day with a game-high 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Sharell Sanders contributed 10 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and four steals.
The Rams wound up shooting 32.8 percent (20-of-61) overall and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) at the free throw line. Caldwell made 44.2 percent (23-of-52) of its shots and 80.0 percent (12-of-15) of its free throws.