MADISON — Hand girls’ basketball coach Tim Tredwell had the scorebook in his left hand and had only one thing to say to his senior captain Gabby Egidio.
“Look at the third and fourth quarters,” he told her at midcourt minutes after No. 10 Hand (12-3) escaped with a 60-57 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over Career Friday night.
He had reason to show Egidio that. With sophomore point guard Sara Wohlgemuth sidelined for the second straight game with the flu, Egidio took over the game in the final 3:46, scoring 13 of her 22 second half points.
“That’s the beauty of having a senior,” Tredwell said. “She’s been in big moments before and has come through. Tonight, it couldn’t be much bigger.”
Down 49-43 with 3:46 to play and not having led since late in the first quarter, Egidio began her run. She hit a basket and then converted a three-point play to make it 49-48. After Carmen Rosemond missed a short baseline jumper, Hannah Martin put Hand ahead for good with a jumper from the right corner with 2:43 to play.
Egidio followed by scoring the next six points from the free throw line to make it 56-49 with 1:16 to play. She added two more free throws to put it away with a minute to go and Hall Freund iced it with two freebies in the final 21 seconds.
“I credit Egidio,” Career coach Steve Bethke said. “She just willed them to win.”
Bethke said he was disappointed with the way the Panthers executed in the final few minutes.
“I think we made some bad decisions on the offensive end,” Bethke said. “We rushed shots with the lead. We just played like we were behind instead of ahead.”
Early on though, it was the Kayla Franklin show for Career. She scored 12 of the first 18 Panther points as they took an 18-12 lead with 7:06 to play in the second quarter. At that point, Tredwell moved Egidio over to cover Franklin and Freund to take Carmen Rosemond. Franklin was held to three points after that.
“We didn’t know she would put up that many shots,” Egidio said. “When she started hitting them, we had to adjust.”
Layups by Freund and Summer Adams closed it to 18-16. However, Career scored the final six points before intermission, four of them by Ky’Jae Hargrove, to take a 27-18 edge at the break.
Career fell to 9-5 with the loss. Three of those losses have come by three points and another by five points.