OWINGS MILLS, Md. – No. 20 Messiah placed three players in double figures as it downed Stevenson 67-49 in MAC Commonwealth women's basketball Wednesday evening at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
Messiah (12-1, 4-0 MAC Commonwealth) was paced by Alecia Rohrer, who registered 17 points and 17 rebounds. Maci Thornton totaled 14 points and five assists, while Leah Springer added 13 points off the bench.
Stevenson (7-5, 3-2 MAC Commonwealth) was playing its second straight ranked opponent and had been idle since December 18. Freshman Olivia Coleman narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while senior Imani Sanders was 5-10 from the floor and tallied 11. Junior Jonyae Curry and freshman Morgan Jacobs each chipped in with six points apiece.
Messiah led 31-26 at halftime and outscored Stevenson 11-4 over the first four minutes of the second half to go up 42-30 on a Thornton three. A basket by Sanders with 5:40 left in the third cut Messiah's lead to 10, but the Falcons held the hosts without a field goal for nearly five minutes to open up a 48-33 lead. Sanders broke the drought with a basket with 38 seconds to go, but the Falcons took a 50-35 lead into the final frame.
A Kaitlyn Hoff basket with just under five minutes left gave Messiah its largest lead, 56-39, but a 6-0 spurt capped by a steal and layup by Sanders with 3:27 left pulled the Mustangs within 11, 56-45, and forced Messiah to call timeout. The guests scored the next six points coming out of the break to put the game away.
The Falcons opened an early 9-2 lead, but Stevenson used a 12-2 run capped by a three by freshman Brandi Hall to go up 14-11 with 2:21 to go in the first quarter. The Mustangs held Messiah scoreless for nearly five minutes and opened a 17-11 lead on a Sanders basket with 1:38 to go. Messiah pulled within three, 17-14, at the first intermission.
An early 7-2 spurt put Messiah up 21-19 6:29 before halftime, but Stevenson forged three ties and took a 26-25 lead with 2:18 left on a conventional three-point play by freshman Morgan Jacobs. The Falcons scored the final six points of the half to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room.
Messiah shot 48% for the game and outrebounded Stevenson 44-27. The Mustangs shot 32.8% for the game and were 1-13 behind the three-point arc, while Messiah went 3-9. Stevenson did record a season-high 14 steals, its most in a game since last February 14 against Alvernia.
Stevenson returns to action Saturday when it travels to Lycoming for a 3:00 MAC Commonwealth contest.