It may have been Senior Night at Benet on Monday, but the evening belonged to an underclassman.
Sophomore point guard Kathleen Doyle made key plays on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds and a number of game-changing defensive stops for the Redwings during a 56-51 nonconference win against York Tuesday.
"We kind of expect that from her," Benet coach Peter Paul said of Doyle. "She's incredible. She handles the ball, takes critical shots. She's a point guard and yet she's got some hops; she'll probably lead us in rebounds (this season)."
Benet led by as many as 9 in the fourth quarter, but York didn't make anything easy.
"We had a lead and all of a sudden we got a little careless," Paul said.
With the game tied at 51 with 1:30 remaining, the Dukes' pressure forced a turnover and gave them a chance to take the lead for the first time since the first half, but Doyle made a clean steal following a defensive switch to preserve the tie.
She was fouled hard while driving the other way and made two free throws to give the Redwings a 53-51 lead they made stand up.
After a turnover by York (12-12), Benet missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and was 1 of 2 on her next trip to the free-throw line to give York a chance with seconds remaining and the score 54-51. Doyle was up to the task, though, blocking the potential game-tying 3 with just seconds remaining.
It was her second big block of the half, the first coming against her York counterpart Jessica Bianchi on a 1-on-1 drive.
"When I got the (first) block, I was making sure I made up for my turnover," Doyle said. "I knew I made a bad mistake, so I just wanted to get it back on defense."
Bianchi, a junior, provided a nice foil. She finished with 17 points as she and Doyle went back-and-fourth all night in an entertaining point-guard matchup.
"It's fun, It's always good when two competitive point guards get out there," Doyle said. "We were having fun, kind of cracking jokes in between each other. She's a really good player. She's really fast."
York went up 6-0 to open the game on a pair of 3s from Jennifer Coffin and led most of the first half.
But Doyle wouldn't be denied as she steadily brought her team back before nailing a spectacular half-court 3 at the buzzer to close the second quarter and give her team a 27-25 lead.
"I was trying to get an easy shot off so I just had to get my momentum going toward the basket I just got lucky, I guess. Half-courters don't come very often."