Benedict, Naz women top Medaille in season opener

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BUFFALO, NY – Senior Rachel Benedict (Brockport) scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while sophomore Jadyn Abrams added 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Nazareth College women’s basketball team to a season-opening 68-60 victory over Medaille College Monday night.

Nazareth (1-0) and Medaille (0-1) struggled in the first quarter and the teams were each limited to 11 points. The Golden Flyers jumped ahead early in the second quarter but Medaille battled back and tied the score late in the quarter as the teams took a 34-34 score into the halftime intermission

In the third quarter, Benedict led a balanced attack with eight points as Nazareth opened up an eight-point lead.

The lead expanded to 12 points in the final quarter but Medaille made a late run to trim the lead to five points at 65-60 with less than a minute to play.

After a Nazareth missed 3-pointer, it looked like Medaille might have a chance to trim the lead further but Benedict grabbed a critical offensive rebound and was fouled to stop the clock.

The senior connected on both free throws to extend the lead to 67-70 to seal the victory.

Freshman Ryann Stefaniak scored 10 points in her Nazareth debut and sophomore guard Makalah Sizer (Brighton) scored seven points and handed out a team-leading four assists.

The Golden Flyers held a 43-28 rebounding edge including a 20-11 advantage in offensive rebounds.

Nazareth returns home for the Mike Daley Invitational tournament that begins Saturday with a 5 p.m. game against SUNY Cobleskill. Buffalo State and Hilbert College will play at 7 p.m. with the consolation and championship scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday.

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