Senior Taylor Szwec (Candor, NY/Candor) set career-highs in points and rebounds and posted her second straight double-double, but the Keuka College women's basketball team dropped its regular-season finale, 76-68 to Wells College Saturday afternoon in Aurora, N.Y.
Szwec scored 21 points on 46.7 percent shooting (7 of 15) and grabbed 18 rebounds, including 14 defensive rebounds, but Keuka (11-10, 10-6 NEAC) surrendered 53 second-half points and suffered its first-ever loss to the Express (17-7, 12-3) as Wells clinched the NEAC North regular-season championship.
The Express ended the game on a 16-8 run.
Wells, Keuka and Cazenovia (7-18, 7-9) have clinched spots from the North, while Lancaster Bible (20-5, 16-0), Gallaudet (14-11, 11-5) and St. Elizabeth (16-9, 10-6) all earned playoff berths from the South.
Lancaster Bible, the defending NEAC postseason champions, will host the NEAC postseason tournament. Keuka is hosting Cazenovia at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in one NEAC quarterfinal, while Gallaudet hosts St. Elizabeth in the other quarterfinal.
The winner of Keuka/Cazenovia takes on Lancaster Bible at 6 p.m. Saturday in one semifinal, followed by the Gallaudet/St. Elizabeth winner vs. Wells College at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The NEAC championship is at 3 p.m. Sunday, with the winner earning the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Against the Express on Saturday, senior Casey Chamberlain (Perry, NY/Perry) added 13 points, freshman Katie Stuart (Tupper Lake, NY/Tupper Lake) had 10 rebounds with eight points while senior Danielle Gravel (Sidney, NY/Sidney) scored seven points with four rebounds for the Storm.
Szwec collected 14 rebounds and scored eight points as the Storm took a 27-23 lead into halftime.
Chamberlain scored 12 second-half points while Szwec poured in 13 points after halftime for the Green and Gold.
Leading 31-28, Chamberlain and Szwec each hit '3s' on consecutive trips as Keuka opened up a 37-28 lead three minutes into the second.
The Storm lead surged to 39-29 on a jumper from senior Brittany Sinnott (Mount Kisco, NY/Fox Lane), but Ashley Roser (29 points, 16 rebounds) scored five straight points to spark the Express on a 13-2 run. After a layup from Roser, Wells trailed 42-41 with 12:15 remaining.
Chamberlain, Stuart and junior Brittany Hadley (Jasper, NY/Jasper-Troupsburg) each hit layups to put Keuka ahead 48-41, and Szwec hit four straight free throws as Keuka took a 52-43 lead with 8:37 remaining.
Wells responded with an 11-0 run and led 54-52 after Roser's three-point play with 5:30 remaining.
Chamberlain hit a pair of free throws, Szwec hit a layup and Stuart and Gravel each hit two free throws as the Storm and Express remained tied at 60 with 3:33 remaining. But the Express closed out the game on a 16-8 spurt to earn the program's first-ever win against the Storm.