Benedict paces all as Naz wins in OT

Courtesy of Nazathletics.com

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Nazareth outscored visiting Stevens 15-10 in the extra five-minute overtime period Friday as the Golden Flyers defeated the Ducks in women’s basketball, 83-78.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Golden Flyers, who stand at 8-4 overall and 3-0 in the Empire 8 Conference. Stevens dropped to 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the E8. It was just the Golden Flyers’ second win ever against the Ducks, who had won the previous 11 meetings. The Golden Flyers’ only other win came nearly six years ago at Stevens.

Rachel Benedict (Brockport) led all scorers with 26 points. She added a team-best 11 rebounds. Isabella Gjonaj and Demetria Woodard each posted career high point totals with 15 and 14 respectively. Gjonah also grabbed six rebounds, while Woodard’s points included two clutch three-pointers.

Nazareth’s Jadyn Abrams (12 points) scored the first basket of overtime and the Golden Flyers never trailed thereafter. She later canned a pair of free throws with 1:48 to go to extend the lead to six at 78-72.

The Ducks closed to within two points, 78-76 following a basket by Anna Toke with :55 left, but Woodard hit a clutch jumper on the next possession to keep the Golden Flyers ahead. In the closing seconds, Elizabeth White sank a pair of free throws and Kristen Simmons (Victor) added another to seal the deal.

The game was close throughout and was tied seven times in the fourth quarter alone. Nazareth led by four, 66-62, late in the fourth quarter, but Stevens scored six straight points to take a 68-66 lead with :08 left. Benedict was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and made both free throws to force the overtime.

The Golden Flyers shot 28-for-57 from the field (49.1%) with six three-point baskets. Toke led Stevens with 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Nazareth is back in action Saturday at home against Sage at 2 p.m.

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