GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Despite a pair of huge games from Lydia Konstanzer and Aliyah Stephens, the Ursinus College women's basketball team was unable to hang with top-seeded Gettysburg in a 74-51 defeat in the Centennial Conference semifinals.
Stephens finished with a game-high 22 points in addition to five rebounds, four assists, and three steals and Konstanzer posted another double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Bears, who concluded a breakthrough campaign at 17-10 with their first playoff victory in 12 seasons.
Defending champion Gettysburg advanced to the conference final for the third straight season, where it will meet either third-seeded Haverford or second-seeded Johns Hopkins.
Ursinus led by as many as five points after a lay-up by Stephens made it 11-6 in the early going, but the host Bullets (22-4) responded with an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead on a 3-pointer by Kiera Cesareo. Back-to-back baskets by Konstanzer, sandwiched around a free throw by junior Francesca Bogiatzis, handed the Bears another edge at 16-14 before Cesareo made another triple to send Gettysburg into the second quarter with a one-point lead.
The Bears went scoreless for the first 4:32 of the second, allowing the orange and blue to open up a nine-point spread before a trey by sophomore Marisa Morano sliced it to 25-20. The margin stayed there until halftime, which saw Gettysburg go into the locker room armed with a 31-26 lead.
The home side scored the first eight points of the third quarter to go up 39-26, but Ursinus responded with a 10-2 run featuring six points from Konstanzer to close within 41-36 at the 3:52 mark. The Bears had several chances to get closer, but couldn't get a shot to fall as Gettysburg countered with a 9-0 spurt to end the frame with a 50-36 upper hand.
Ursinus never got closer than 12 in the fourth quarter.
With CC leading scorer Emma Dorshimer hampered by an injury and limited to nine points (all in the second half), Gettysburg turned to Ashley Gehrin (20 points, five assists) and Meredith Brown (15 points, eight rebounds) to turn the tide. The Bullets finished at 44.8 percent overall against the Bears' stingy defense and went 19-for-24 (79.2 percent) from the line, a big difference-maker in a game in which Ursinus made just 15-of-27 from the stripe (55.6 percent).
Ursinus shot 30.4 percent overall (17-for-56) and made just two of its 12 attempts from long range. The Bears were outrebounded, 43-34. The Bullets received 23 points from their bench.
Morano finished with seven points and three assists, while Konstanzer had two steals and matched freshman Gabby Downs with two blocks.
In addition to their first playoff win in 12 seasons, the Bears bring back every healthy player next season and will likely enter the 2019-2020 campaign as one of the favorites in the Centennial Conference.