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The Gwynedd Mercy University Women's Basketball team punched their ticket to the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament with a 67-49 victory over Cabrini University on Saturday afternoon in the championship game of the Colonial States Athletic Women's Basketball Tournament here at The Griffin Complex.
Nicole Dombrowski was named the Championship Game Most Valuable Player with her 13-point and 13-rebound effort. The senior also added five blocks, tying a career high, and two assists.
Four other Griffins reached double figures with Bianca Adams and Monet McGorda scoring 11 each. Larissa Leyes and Charlotte Kucowski added 10 apiece.
The team will find out who and where they are playing as the NCAA will announce the pairings on Monday, February 27th at 2:30 p.m.
The Griffins captured their seventh conference title in the process in their 16th appearance in the championship game. The last title was in 2011-12 in which Gwynedd won 68-49 over Baptist Bible.
Renee Oliver led Cabrini (16-12), the defending champions who were looking for their fourth crown in a row, with 18 points and 15 rebounds, both game highs. Megan Matthews added 11 points and five boards off the bench.
Julianna Hoisington put the Griffins up 5-2 early in the first quarter thanks to her three ball. The Cavaliers would tie the game 6-6 but a Leyes three pointer put GMercyU back up 9-6. Cabrini would go on a 7-0 run to take a 13-9 lead capped by a Matthews three-point play. A bucket by Chyanne Fine would cut the lead to two (13-11) to close out the quarter.
Cabrini would stretch their lead to four (15-11) but the Griffins would respond with a 6-0 run to take a 17-15 lead book-ended by McGorda. After the Cavaliers went back ahead, 21-19, GMercyU closed out the half on a 10-2 run highlighted by six points from Adams for a 29-23 Griffin halftime advantage.
Kucowski led the Griffins with eight third-quarter points to hold a 48-37 lead after the stanza. Her layup with 6:23 remaining put GM up 36-27. Her triple with 2:57 left put the Griffins up 43-33.
Another Hoisington three started the fourth for a 51-39 lead. A McGorda bucket with 5:41 remaining stretched the lead back to double digits (55-44). Two free throws from Cassidy Gallagher pulled the Cavs within nine (55-46), but it would be the closest they would get. The Griffins would make nine free throws to close out the game capped by a Leyes three-pointer at the end to help start the celebration.