WOONSOCKET — Mount St. Charles head coach Jessica Shiel would have liked to celebrate a pair of triumphs on Tuesday night.
First, she hoped her squad would pull out a win over Division II-North foe Lincoln, then turn her attention to how much money the Mounties had raised during its first ever “Pink-Out” contest, with all proceeds from the gate and T-shirt sales going directly to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
She succeeded in the latter, as MSC collected approximately $450, 150 more than she had hoped. As for the former, the Lions survived a late Mounties’ flurry and bused home with a wildly-exciting 58-54 victory.
In the end, senior tri-captain Emily Bouthillette calmly netted a pair of free throws with 8.5 ticks left in regulation to ensure the verdict, and Lincoln improved to 8-9 overall and 6-6 in league play.
“It was a great, great game; I thought we matched up very well with them,” Shiel grinned after her club fell to 5-8 overall and 4-8 in III-North. “Our defensive intensity is what keeps us in most games, and we certainly showed that again here. I have great, athletic girls, but they just proved to have a little too much down the stretch.
“We didn’t communicate as well as we should’ve in the final minute,” she added. “We missed a couple of big screens they threw at us, and one turned out to be the last foul (to Bouthillette) … As for the ‘Pink-Out,’ that definitely was a success. I’m very excited about that (amount). I hope to do this every year. Mount St. Charles is very good at giving back to the community, and our basketball program is always looking to give back any way we can.”
Bouthillette led all scorers with 20 points, while junior point guard Casie Beauchemin chipped in 19 and classmate Shirley Carrington seven.
As for the Mount, senior Emily Georgeu (who was playing against her sister, freshman Maddie) closed with 19 points and six steals, while junior swing Noreen Mulledy mustered a “double-double” with 14 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore center Tori Dill four points and seven boards.
Shiel’s crew had trailed Lincoln 47-36 with 9:09 left on the clock, but forged a phenomenal run while forcing the Lions into at least six of their total 23 turnovers. Mulledy landed a trey and senior Kayla Salley threw up a one-handed prayer to slice the lead to 47-41 with 7:51 remaining.
Just 3:52 later, senior Carissa Gould canned a short jumper on a superb out-of-bounds save by Mulledy to cut it to 48-46.
All told, in the span of 4:40, MSC had manufactured a 10-1 flurry.
Three more times over the final 3:59, the Mounties knifed the visitors’ lead to two, the last when Emily Georgeu drained a baseline 10-footer with 27.4 seconds left; that made it 56-54, but Mulledy fouled Beauchemin on an inbounds pass, and that set up her dramatic foul shots.
In the opening session, Lincoln took advantage of a number of Mount turnovers (18 in the first half alone, 26 total) to gain a 20-8 cushion on a Bouthillette’s two from the charity stripe. MSC, though, battled back, eventually cutting the deficit to 24-21 after Emily Georgeu netted one of two free throws with 2:22 left.
At that point, the hosts had notched a 13-4 surge in 6:39. Bouthillette, however, hit a putback and a turnaround jumper in the last 20.7 seconds (the final bucket with 0.4 ticks left, to gain the 32-25 advantage at the break.