Daemen shines by beating Roberts with nation watching

Courtesy of Daemenwildcats.com

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Daemen College women’s basketball team shined in the national spotlight Wednesday night, as the Wildcats closed out the game with a 12-4 run to secure a 72-70 victory over long-time rival Roberts Wesleyan College tonight at the Voller Athletic Center on the RWC campus. It marked the East Coast Conference opener for both teams. The Wildcats have won four of their last six games and improved to 4-3 overall. The host Redhawks saw their four-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt and dropped to 4-3.

The game was featured nationwide as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA) Division II Basketball Showcase. NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase games are part of a larger initiative launched by the NCAA earlier this fall, aiming to broadcast 11 football games, 18 basketball games and six to 10 additional sporting events in a hybrid model that would allow for distribution on local television stations and online.

Daemen snapped a four-game losing streak to their rivals, which included a 76-64 win by RWC in the opening round of last year’s ECC Tournament.

The game was very similar to Daemen’s 58-52 win at Gannon University last week, as the Wildcats closed that game with an 11-0 run to secure their first win at Gannon’s Hammermill Center since the 1996-97 season.

Redshirt sophomore Tiara Filbert (Batavia, N.Y.) and sophomore Autumn Buchsenschutz (Port Allegany, Pa.) played key roles in tonight’s win, just like they did a week ago at Gannon. Filbert connected on 4-of-9 from downtown and totaled 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. She totaled a team-high 17 points in the win over Gannon. She is averaging a team-high 15.3 points on the year and entered tonight’s game ranked first among ECC players in three-point field goal percentage. She is now shooting 53-percent (18-34) from long range on the year. Buchsenschutz continues to produce after seeing limited playing time as freshman last year. Her clutch three-pointer with 56 seconds left gave Daemen the lead for good at 69-66, and she finished with 10 points and three assists. She drilled a big three-pointer with 27 seconds left in the win over Gannon and scored a season-high 13 points in that win.

Nine of the 11 players that got in the game for Daemen tonight scored at least one point. Freshman Sydney Barney (Midland, Pa.) drilled two three-pointers and scored a season-high eight points, while senior Erin Sinnott (Oswego, Ill.) made two clutch free throws with 11 seconds left and also scored a season-high eight points. Senior Erin Egan (Williamsville, N.Y.) converted a conventional three-point play that tied the game at 66-66 and finished with seven points.

Four players scored in double figures for the Redhawks. Junior Sara Nady (Cairo, Egypt) went 5-of-9 from three-point land and finished with 19 points. Classmate Emily Miller (Buffalo, N.Y.) registered her sixth double-double of the year and totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Roberts Wesleyan entered the fourth quarter with an eight-point lead (52-44), and the teams traded baskets for the first three minutes of the quarter. The RWC lead was 58-50 when junior Jordan Heinold (Hamburg, N.Y.) buried a three-pointer off a feed from Buchsenschutz. The Redhawks came up empty on their next possession and Daemen cut the lead to three points (58-55) following a layup by Sinnott with 6:37 left. It marked the first time since the end of the first quarter that Daemen was within three points. Both teams came up empty on their next two possessions, before another triple by Heinold with 5:11 left tied the game at 58-58. Filbert and Heinold had both missed three-point attempts during that Daemen possession, but Heinold and Sinnott both came up with clutch offensive rebounds to keep the possession alive.

Back-to-back layups by Miller and 6-foot-3 freshman Dimitra Gkizani (Athens, Greece) gave RWC a 62-58 lead, before Filbert canned two free throws with 4:01 remaining. The hosts regained a 66-60 lead following two free throws by Miller and a layup by junior Tashayla Sutorius (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Sinnott once again came up with an offensive rebound on Daemen’s next possession, and Filbert came through with a three-pointer off a pass from Sinnott with 2:47 left to make it 66-63. Neither team scored again until Egan’s conventional three-point play with 1:31 left tied it at 66-66. Sinnott came up with a steal at the other end, and Buchsenschutz drilled the go-ahead three-pointer with just under a minute left. A put back by Gkzani with 15 seconds left made it a one-point game, but Sinnott canned two free throws with a 11 seconds left to make it 71-68. RWC was unable to get off a three-pointer on its next possession and settled for a layup by senior Taylor Bynoe (Williamstown, N.J.) with five seconds left. Buchsenschutz made one-of-two free throws, and RWC was off the mark with a last second shot.

RWC took an 18-17 lead into the second quarter, and the hosts scored 12 unanswered points at the start of the second frame to take a 30-17 lead. Daemen outscored the Redhawks 8-2 over the final six minutes of the quarter and RWC took a 32-25 lead in halftime.

The Redhawks held a double-digit lead for most of the third quarter. The hosts took a 48-35 lead following a three-pointer by Nady with 3:47 left in the frame, and the hosts went on to take a 52-44 lead into the fourth.

Daemen shot 50-percent (17-for-34) from the field in the second half and finished 27-for-66 (41%) from the field overall. The Wildcats connected 7-of-19 three-pointers in the second half and finished with a season-high 12 three-pointers made and a season-high 38 three-pointers attempted. Daemen went 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. RWC shot 47-percent (27-of-57) from the field overall and made 9-of-22 from downtown. The Redhawks converted just 7-of-17 free throws. The Wildcats finished with a 37-36 edge in total rebounds, and the Wildcats also posted an advantage in second-chance points (12-10) and bench points (26-5). RWC posted a 26-23 edge in points off turnovers and a 28-24 advantage in points in the paint.

Daemen is idle until the weekend of Dec. 14-16 when it travels to Long Island, N.Y. for ECC games against Long Island University Post (Dec. 14) and New York Institute of Technology (Dec. 16).

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