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St. Anthony's upsets No. 2 team in country

St. Anthony's Chastity Taylor (1) drives the baseline

St. Anthony's Chastity Taylor (1) drives the baseline in the first half. (Dec. 13, 2011) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Chastity Taylor admits free throw shooting has been a problem for her this season. In a big spot against Riverdale Baptist, which is the No. 2 team in the country, the St. Anthony’s sophomore guard was clutch.

Taylor went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final 10.3 seconds and finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four steals to lift St. Anthony’s to a 49-48 upset win over Riverdale Baptist (Md.) today in the Mecca Challenge at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx. Rebecca Musgrove scored 13 points and Symone Kelly added 10 points and 10 rebounds for St. Anthony’s (17-4). Riverdale Baptist is 24-2.

“You don’t get the opportunity to play the No. 2 team in the country that often and to beat them is a big win,” St. Anthony’s coach Ken Parham said. “It’s the first time St. Anthony’s has ever beaten a ranked team. The kids stepped up. Riverdale Baptist is athletic, big and long.”

Taylor got a steal at midcourt and got fouled on a layup attempt with 2.3 seconds left and went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line to break a tie at 48 for St. Anthony’s. Taylor hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to tie the score at 48. Musgrove hit a three-pointer with two minutes left to give St. Anthony's a 44-43 lead.

“I was really proud of them,” Parham said. “We didn’t give up. We had plenty of opportunities to quit. It sends a good message to the girls. If we play hard and together, we can beat good teams. The biggest key was to keep going. I told them in one of the timeouts they’re not used to playing close games. If you blow out teams all the time, it’s a little different in a close game.”

Riverdale Baptist features Clemson-bound Jonquel Jones, Wake Forest-bound Kelila Atkinson (Wake Forest) and DeJanae Boykin, who is considered one of the top freshmen in the country. The only other loss for Riverdale Baptist came against St. Mary’s (Az.) in the championship game of the Nike Tournament of Champions. St. Mary’s is No. 1 in the country. Riverdale Baptist defeated Nazareth (Brooklyn), 83-47, on Jan. 21. Riverdale Baptist is ranked No. 2 by USA Today and Hoopgurlz.

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