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WOMEN'S HOOPS FALLS TO ST. JOSEPH'S (PA) IN OT
PHILADELPHIA (12/28/02) - Junior Erin Brady netted eight of her 17 points and connected on 6-6 free throws in overtime to help the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team (4-5) survive a scare from UMBC (2-6) in the semifinals of the Hawk Classic at the Fieldhouse, 66-61. In addition to the 17 points, Brady added seven rebounds and seven assists. Fellow junior Irina Krasnoshiok added a game-high 18 points. SJU was unable to shake free of the Retrievers, who battled back from double digit deficits in both the first and second half to force the extra session. Shalayna Johnson (18 points) and Jessie Brown (16 points) combined for 34 points and connected on eight of 21 three-pointers to keep the game close. St. Joe's led by 12 points, 51-39, with 7:22 left in regulation, but UMBC connected on five straight threes and outscored SJU 15-3 over the next six minutes to knot the game at 53-53 and then 56-56 with 1:07 remaining. Neither team could score in the final minute, forcing the extra session. Neither team could find the bottom of the basket in the early portion of overtime. Hawk junior Stephanie Graff then broke the drought with a pair of charity tosses at the 1:47 mark. A layup by UMBC's Brown tied the game again, but it was all Brady the rest of the way. She netted a layup and then calmly sunk 6-6 at the stripe during the final :34 seconds to put the game on ice. SJU also held a double-figure advantage in the first half before UMBC stormed back. The Hawks were up 21-10 at the 8:22 mark, when the Retirevers went on a 12-2 spurt the trimmed the lead down to 23-22. The Crimson and Gray briefly puffed the lead back out to five points, but back-to-back three-pointers gave UMBC the advantage at 28-27 with :13 seconds to go before intermission. Brady, however again answered the Retriever run with a short jumper that allowed the Hawks to lead at the break 29-28. UMBC connected on 9-26 from beyond the arc, while SJU was just 4-14 from downtown. The Hawks, though held the edge at the free throw line, hitting 14-23, to just 4-5 for UMBC. The five-point margin of victory in the tournament's semifinals was the closest for SJU since edging Arizona by just two points in 1990, the first year of the Hawk Classic. The Hawks will take on Siena in the tournament's championship game on Sunday at 3:00 PM. UMBC, meanwhile faces Hartford in the consolation game at 1:00 PM.