FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan Donohue, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information, 610-606-4666 x. 3725
WALLOWER SETS CAREER SCORING RECORD IN LOSS TO MARYWOOD ON SENIOR DAY
Allentown, PA (February 12, 2011) - Cedar Crest Basketball Coach Valerie Donohue still remembers the summary she got on senior Leann Wallower (Havertown, PA/Haverford) while out on the recruiting trail - a great kid, quiet but hard-working, a great fit for a blossoming program, but not much of an offensive threat. To such doubters, Wallower had just one question on Saturday afternoon: "How do you like me now?"
In the last home game of her career, Wallower scored 14 points to become the Falcons' all-time leading scorer with 1244 points. Her appearance today in her 98th game also set a school record for most games played in a career.
Wallower's scoring accomplishment eclipsed a 19-year old record set by Jayne Gano in 1992. In a nice bit of torch-passing, Gano as well as teammate Maria (Lucchetti) Heiser were on hand to congratulate Wallower on setting the new mark.
The lanky 5-8 forward entered the gym today excited only for Senior Day, the last home game in the careers of Wallower, Lauren Seale of Wilmington, DE, and Kelley Cipriani of Medford, NJ. She hadn't a clue that she could end the day atop the scoring leader board since the staff had informed her teammates of the situation but made the decision not to tell Wallower herself to avoid any undue performance anxiety.
The game itself, in front of a packed Lees Hall Gymnasium crowd, was a spirited though eventually lopsided affair. The Falcons hosted Colonial States Athletic Conference North Division rival Marywood, who boasted an 11-3 conference record and a spot in the playoffs. The previous meeting between the two, in early January, was a 74-43 Marywood win, and yet the Falcons appeared poised for an upset early. Good defense and some cold shooting saw no scoring at all until over six minutes into the game. Cedar Crest pushed the lead to seven, 9-2, until Marywood began to make some shots and tie things up. After trading baskets for a bit, the Pacers took the lead for good with 7:39 remaining in the first half. A flurry of buckets and some ill-advised fouls by the Falcons resulted in a 41-27 Marywood lead at halftime. Wallower entered the locker room with just four first-half points.
Marywood blew the game open by opening the second half with a 9-0 run, and foul trouble for Lizzy Sunderhaus (Hamilton, OH/Stephen T. Badin) greatly blunted the effectiveness of the Falcons' main scoring threat. The deep Pacers subbed liberally and Cedar Crest's short bench began to take its toll. As fatigue set in and the game began to slip out of reach, the anxiety in the gym was palpable as the crowd wondered if Wallower would be able to hit the mark and provide a bright spot on Senior Day. Midway through the second half, she still had less than 10 points and her teammates began to redouble their efforts to get her the ball.
Finally, by making the second of two free-throws with just 3:03 remaining, Wallower caused the game to stop, the crowd to erupt, the cheerleading squad to present her with four large balloons that spelled out 1-2-4-4, and Gano to come out of the stands to greet her at half-court. She seemed bewildered, and later confirmed that she had "no clue" what was going on when the game was stopped. "I thought [the record] was a lot further away," she said.
Marywood went on to win 81-53. Wallower had a team-high 14 points along with 10 boards, and Sunderhaus had 13 points. Sophomore point guard Megan DeMutis (Norristown, PA/Kennedy-Kenrick) tied her career-high with 11 and had four assists.
The Falcons drop to 7-16 on the season and 3-12 in the CSAC, while Marywood improves to 18-6 and 12-3 in the conference. Cedar Crest's final game of the season will be at Philadelphia Biblical University on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and will be carried live on www.pennatlantic.com.