Squirrels Make First Appearance in NCAA Tournament

March 4, 2004

03-04 Basketball TeamThe Fighting Squirrels earned Mary Baldwin basketball’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament with a conference championship win February 28. The Squirrels beat Hood College, the top ranked team in the Atlantic Women’s Colleges Conference.

“The game was everything a championship should be,” Mary Baldwin basketball coach Jackie Bryan said about the contest with Hood. The score was tied 76–76 with 20 seconds left in the game. Mary Baldwin senior Lynn Malone was fouled on a drive to the basket and sank one of two free throws to put Mary Baldwin up 77–76. Hood called a timeout with 17.7 seconds left to draw up a play, but the Fighting Squirrels denied the Blazers a basket and held on for the win.

Unfortunately, the team was eliminated from the national competition in a 101–51 loss Wednesday to Tennessee’s Maryville College Lady Scots. Maryville has made five consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.Wednesday night, the squad succumbed to the pressures of being on the road — and competing in the biggest game of their college careers. Senior Lynn Malone led team scoring with 11 points and fellow senior Lateasha Armstead added nine points and 10 rebounds, but the team shot just 26 percent from the floor.

“Despite the loss, it was a great experience,” Bryan said. “It was exciting just to see our team’s name printed on the NCAA posters on the walls and find our roster in the media guide that is distributed nationwide.”Bryan said the team was honored to represent the AWCC and Mary Baldwin as one of the top 50 of 370 Division III women’s teams. Mary Baldwin ended the season ranked second in the conference with an 11–3 record and 19–9 overall.

For more coverage of the Fighting Squirrels and other women’s teams’ performances in the tournament, visit https://www.ncaasports.com/basketball/womens.