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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mount St. Mary’s women repeat as NEC champs, top Bryant

Mount St.  Marys' Kendall Bresee (3) Gets Off A Shot Past Bryants' Defenders In The First Half Of An Ncaa College Basketball Game For The Championship Of The Northeast Conference Women'S Tournament, Sunday, March 13, 2021, In Emmitsburg, Md.  (Bill Green/The Frederick News-Post Via Ap)

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Mount St. Marys’ Kendall Bresee (3) gets off a shot past Bryants’ defenders in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game for the championship of the Northeast Conference women’s tournament, Sunday, March 13, 2021, in Emmitsburg, Md. (Bill Green/The Frederick News-Post via Associated Press)

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Mount St. Marys’ Kendall Bresee (3) gets off a shot past Bryants’ defenders in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game for the championship of the Northeast Conference women’s tournament, Sunday, March 13, 2021, in Emmitsburg, Md. (Bill Green/The Frederick News-Post via Associated Press)

EMMITSBURG, Md. ( Associated Press) — Michaela Harrison scored 17 points and third-seeded Mount St. Mary’s defended its Northeast Conference title with a 60-42 win over seventh-seeded Bryant on Sunday, earning the Mountaineers their fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament.

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After an even first quarter, Mount St. Mary’s (16-12) dominated the middle, outscoring the Bulldogs (10-22) 35-18. The Mountaineers won both games in the regular season by a score of 68-52. Their previous NCAA appearances came on consecutive years, 1994 and ’95.

Kendall Bresee, who became a 1,000-point scorer in the semifinals, added 13 points.

Brooke Bjelko scored 16 to lead the Bulldogs, who moved up to Division I in 2008 after seven D-II appearances. Just the second seven seed to make the NEA final, Bryant lost in the 2016 title game as a four seed.

Bryant won 65-63 at second-seeded St. Francis Brooklyn in the quarterfinals and 44-38 at top-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson in the semifinals.

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Mount St. Mary’s shot 52% in the first half, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-9 in the second quarter, to take a 33-22 lead. Bryant shot 39% and had 13 turnovers.

Bryant limited the turnovers in the second half but followed a 4 of 11 second quarter with a 4 of 12 third quarter and the Mountaineers pulled away.

Both teams were cold in the final frame with Bryant making 4 of 10 and Mount St. Mary’s 3 of 11.

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More Associated Press women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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