No. 13 RIT women beat Naz to continue hot start

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PITTSFORD, NY — The No. 13 RIT women’s basketball team improved to 7-0 in 2018-19 with a 67-61 win at Nazareth College (3-2) Thursday evening in the opening game of the Third Annual Mark’s Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout from Kidera Gymnasium. It is the third straight season the Tigers have started with seven straight wins.

RIT shot 42.9 percent from the floor on 24-of-56 shooting. The Tigers made just 5-of-17 from beyond the arc, but went 14-of-20 from the foul line, including 7-of-10 in the fourth quarter. Cori Okada (Fullerton, CA/Troy) led four Tigers to score in double figures with 20 points. Tara Lynch (Green Township, NJ/Newton) tallied 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Sabrina Wolfe (Troy, NY/Troy) added 14 points and eight rebounds. Brooke Stanley (Minnetonka, MN/Benilde-St. Margaret’s) chipped in 11 points.

Rachel Benedict led Nazareth with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jadyn Adams tallied 19 points, while Isabella Gjonaj grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds for the Golden Flyers, who shot 33.3 percent from the floor.

“I was proud of our resolve tonight when things were not going our way,” said RIT head coach Amy Reed. “This team has proven time and again they know how to fight when the game is on the line. We have players who can make big shots when it counts.”

Nazareth took a five-point lead in the first quarter on a 3-pointer from Lizzie Straub at the 6:25 mark. Wolfe tied the score for RIT on her 3-pointer with 4:24 remaining in the quarter, while Miyah Sizer gave the Golden Flyers a 14-11 lead on her 3-pointer with 3:34 remaining. Stanley closed the quarter with a late bucket to give the Tigers a 15-14 lead.

Abrams gave Nazareth a 24-20 lead with 3:52 remaining in the first half. That capped off a 5-0 spurt by by the Golden Flyers to open the quarter. The Tigers responded with a 9-0 run, taking a 29-24 lead on a 3-pointer from Okada with 57 seconds remaining in the half. Kim Davis added a late bucket for Nazareth to cut the Tigers lead to 29-26 at the half.

Okada led RIT with eight points, while Wolfe tallied seven points and six rebounds for the Tigers over the opening 20 minutes of play.

RIT increased its lead to 35-27 on a layup from Lynch early in the third quarter off an assist from Alyssa Juergens (Rochester, NY/Hilton). Later in the quarter, Okada converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to give the Tigers a 40-32 lead.

Nazareth answered with an 8-0 spurt, tying the score at 40-40 on a free throw from Sizer with 2:21 to play in the quarter. Stanley scored on a nice feed from Wolfe with 1:39 remaining to give the Tigers a 42-40 lead, and added a free throw with one second to play in the quarter to make it 43-40 Tigers.

Wolfe scored two straight buckets for RIT early in the fourth quarter to give the Tigers a five-point lead. Nazareth tied the score on a 3-pointer from Elizabeth White at the 8:07 mark. Lynch answered with a bucket on the offensive end to break the tie.

RIT scored seven straight points to snap a 50-50 tie, taking a 57-50 lead on a layup by Okada with 3:48 remaining in regulation.

RIT returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 8 when the Tigers face St. John Fisher College in game two of the Mark’s Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout at 6 p.m. on the campus of Nazareth College.

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