Mustangs defeat Alvernia on Senior Day, Secure Third Seed in MAC Commonwealth Playoffs

Mustangs defeat Alvernia on Senior Day, Secure Third Seed in MAC Commonwealth Playoffs

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Junior Sara Tarbert scored her 1000th career point in a Mustang uniform as the Stevenson women's basketball team defeated Alvernia, 80-62, on Senior Day.

With the win, Stevenson (14-9, 11-5 MAC Commonwealth) secured third place in the MAC Commonwealth conference tournament, behind Albright and Messiah.  The Mustangs will travel to the second-seeded Falcons on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 pm for a conference semifinal.

Senior Stephanie Martinez hit a three pointer on her first shot of the day just 27 seconds into the game to give the Mustangs an early lead over Alvernia (8-17, 3-13 MAC Commonwealth).  The two teams traded baskets and matched the score twice before senior Brittney Page intercepted a Crusader pass and took it all the way for two, sparking a 15-3 run for the Mustangs.  

Stevenson forced five turnovers during the run, giving them a 20-8 lead with just over two minutes left in the opening period.  Alvernia closed gap to seven, 21-14, after Jenna Wolfe hit a pair of three-pointers to end the quarter.

Just 49 seconds into the second period, Tarbert stole the ball at the top of the key and took it to the rim for her 1000th career point at Stevenson.  In only 50 games, Tarbert is the fastest player in program history to hit the 1000 point milestone.  

The Crusaders were able to cut their deficit to six, three different times, the last coming with 2:53 to play in the half, but freshman Jonyae Curry picked up six points, giving the hosts a 36-24 advantage entering halftime.

In the first half, Stevenson totaled 26 points in the paint, picking up 11 points off of 11 turnovers.  Alvernia was held to just six points in the paint, totaling three points off of three turnovers.

A layup from senior Caitlin Roy extended Stevenson's lead to 14 early in the third period, but three different Crusaders hit three-pointers to keep Alvernia as close as eight with 3:16 to play in the quarter.  Over the final three minutes, Curry added another four points as the Mustangs closed the period on an 8-4 run, giving them a 57-42 advantage entering the final frame.

Stevenson forced seven turnovers in the fourth quarter as they extended their lead to as much as 20, as they picked up their second-straight win entering the MAC Commonwealth playoffs.  

Tarbert led four Mustangs in double figures with 16 points and 13 rebounds, her 15th double-double of the season.  Jonyae Curry totaled 14 and VanTash added 13.  Roy totaled 12 points and nine rebounds, while Martinez dished out 11 assists.

In pregame ceremonies, the Mustangs honored seniors Martinez, Roy, and Page.

Stevenson swept both meetings from Messiah during the regular season, winning 63-49 in Grantham, Pa. on December 3 and 60-46 in Owings Mills on January 28.