WILMINGTON – Ursuline has been playing this season without starting forwards Olivia Mason and Kay Wulah, both of whom are recovering from knee injuries, and on Dec. 30, the lack of height and experience caught up with the Raiders. St. Rose (N.J.) took advantage, repeatedly pounding the ball inside in a 55-34 win in the fifth-place game of the St. Francis Healthcare Cup at the Diamond State Classic at the St. E Center.
The Raiders countered the Purple Roses’ height early by going outside, and a trio of three-point shots – two by Lauren Dorsey – helped the Wilmington team to an 11-0 lead midway through the first quarter. But St. Rose would go on an 8-0 run spanning the remainder of the first quarter and into the second to take control of the contest.
The Raiders’ shots stopped falling, and the Purple Roses steadily increased the lead. Lucy Thomas was instrumental in the action, scoring 14 points in the first half. She was at the free-throw line often, making 10 of 11 attempts in the half as the advantage grew to 34-18 at the break. Ursuline’s Maggie Connolly ended a 9-0 St. Rose run with 27 seconds remaining in the half.
Coach John Noonan was able to get his entire roster playing time in the second half, and #21 drained a three-pointer in the fourth. Connolly was able to get untracked a bit in the second half, putting up nine of her team-leading 11 points.
The Raiders (4-3) are off until next Thursday, when they return home to host St. Elizabeth in a Catholic Conference showdown at 7:15 p.m.
Thomas led the Purple Roses with 20, and Lauren Lithgow added 10.