BY JEFF FALK
It was a great, great run. But through it all, it was always more about the journey than the destination.
The Lebanon Valley College women’s basketball team’s remarkable 2011-12 campaign came to a conclusion on Friday night in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in the form of a 46-41 loss to host Mary Washington, in the Sweet 16 Round of the NCAA Division Three tournament. In the end, Lebanon Valley was abandoned by an offense that, up until that point, had performed at a very high level.
The Flying Dutchmen were plagued by turnovers and poor shooting. But they stayed in the game by holding their own on the boards and limiting Mary Washington to 27 percent field-goal shooting.
Along the way, Lebanon Valley College won its second consecutive Commonwealth Conference championship and advanced to its second straight Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division Three tournament. LVC, which was ranked 17th in the country, also compiled a 26-4 overall mark.
The Eagles carried a 30-0 and 7th national ranking into the Elite Eight.
Lebanon Valley College opened a late 41-36 advantage. But the Flying Dutchmen didn’t score over the game’s final 3:33 and Mary Washington netted the contest’s final ten points.
After the Eagles had enjoyed a 23-18 margin at halftime, Lebanon Valley tallied six unanswered points to grab a 31-27 advantage. A bucket from junior guard Tierney Hiltz knotted the score at 27 with 13:08 to go.
Hiltz then added a lay-up seconds later, and found teammate Renee Fritz for an inside bucket. Hiltz and freshman point Kiely Chaklos paced Lebanon Valley with ten points apiece.