RIT women pad lead early in win

Courtesy of RITathletics.com

ITHACA, NY — The RIT (14-6, 9-4 Liberty League) women’s basketball team led 14-4 after the first quarter at Ithaca College (16-5, 11-3 Liberty League) Tuesday evening, and never looked back, winning 64-52 from Ben Light Gymnasium. It is the sixth straight win for the Tigers, who remain third in the Liberty League standings. 

“Our defensive effort is what is fueling this run,” said RIT head coach Amy Reed. “We are making big stops, and showing patience on the offensive end.”

RIT jumped out to a 14-4 lead after the first 10 minutes, holding the Bombers scoreless over the final 3:36 of the quarter. RIT shot 6-of-18 from the floor in the opening quarter, led by six points from Tara Lynch(Green Township, NJ/Newton). 

Allie Tunick cut the RIT lead to 14-8 on her bucket early in the second quarter, but two straight baskets from Alyssa Juergens (Rochester, NY/Hilton) increased the Tigers lead to 22-10. Lynch gave RIT its largest lead of the half at 24-10 on her free throws with 4:46 to play in the half.

After a pair of Cassidy O’Malley free throws cut the lead to 28-18 late in the quarter, Sabrina Wolfe (Troy, NY/Troy) drained two free throws with 40 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 30-18 lead. Tunick tacked on a late free throw to make it 30-19 RIT at halftime.

The Tigers shot 34.2 percent from the floor in the first half, making 5-of-6 from the foul line. Lynch led RIT with 10 points, while Juergens tallied eight points and grabbed seven rebounds. RIT’s defense held Ithaca to nine first-half field goals, including just two in the first quarter, while forcing the Bombers into 11 turnovers.

Grace Cannon opened the second half with a 3-pointer, cutting the Tigers lead to 30-22. Later in the quarter, Taylor Signor (Hopkinton, NH/Hopkinton) gave RIT its largest lead of the game on her three-pointer that gave the Tigers a 16 point advantage. Ithaca would respond, closing out the quarter on a 9-0 spurt, cutting the RIT lead to 45-38 on a layup by Kelly Anne O’Reilly with 1:20 remaining in the quarter.

Megan Yawman pulled Ithaca to within six points on her 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that made it 49-43 Tigers. That would be as close as Ithaca got. Brooke Stanley (Minnetonka, MN/Benilde-St. Margaret’s) bulged the RIT lead back to 12 points when she converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 3:41 remaining in regulation. Stanley laid the ball in after a nice feed from Signor, and converted the free throw to give the Tigers a 57-47 lead. A 3-pointer from Meghan Pickell with 2:17 remaining cut the RIT lead to 59-50, but Okada was strong at the free throw line down the stretch, making 5-of-6 to seal the win for the Tigers.

Okada was one of three Tigers to score in double figures, finishing with 17 points, four assists and two steals. Lynch tallied 15 points, while Juergens chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds. Wolfe grabbed a team-high 12 boards to go along with nine points.

O’Malley led Ithaca with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Meghan Mazzella tallied eight points for the Bombers, who remain in second place in the Liberty League standings.

RIT return to action on Friday, Feb. 8 when the Tigers host first place Vassar College at 5 p.m. in the floor of Clark Gymnasium. The Tigers will look to snap Vassar’s 16-game winning streak.

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