Vassar Outlasted By Undefeated Messiah in P.R.

SAN JUAN, PR – The Vassar College women’s basketball team played great defense all game, but a late three-pointer from Messiah College’s Jen Fairbanks proved to be the difference in a 56-50 loss to the Falcons in action from Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Puerto Rico Sunday afternoon.

The Brewers (3-5) defense was stout all contest, which came in handy due to VC’s slow offensive start. Vassar shot just 15.4 percent in the opening period (2-13), but was able to hold Messiah to just 14 points in the first quarter. In the stanza, junior Samarah Cook started the scoring at 9:33 but VC wouldn’t score again until 3:59 left in the first on a triple from fellow junior Ariella Rosenthal.

From that point, Vassar wouldn’t hit the scoreboard again for 9:51 of game time, as VC’s next bucket came at 4:08 of the second quarter to make the score 19-7. Messiah claimed its largest lead of the game at 21-7 on a Kaitlyn Hoff jumper, but VC finished the period on a 12-2 run highlighted by a Sophie Nick jumper right before the end of the half to make the score 23-19 at the break.

After intermission, Vassar tied the game up for the first time since 2-2 when Nick registered a pair of free throws to make the game 25-25. The first lead since Cook’s opening jumper came at 4:30, when Nicole Teta connected on a pair of freebies to make the score 31-29.

After Messiah again knotted the game at 31, Vassar took its largest lead of the game at 39-35 after a traditional three-point play from newcomer Isa Peczuh. The Brewers would bring a one-point lead into the fourth quarter, after Maci Thornton hit a jumper right before the end of the quarter. VC shot 54.5 percent (6-11) from the field in the third quarter, but the Falcons kept it close due to 10-14 shooting from the line.

In the fourth quarter, VC continued to lead until 6.58 left when Fairbanks nailed a three to make the score 42-all, which came during a 9-0 run that saw the Falcons take a six-point lead at 48-42. Vassar didn’t go away though, as Nick answered with a jumper and two sets of free throws by Cook tied the game at 48 with 58 seconds left.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Cook stole the inbounds pass, forcing a tie-up with the arrow pointing towards VC. The Brewers had a chance to take the lead, but Teta’s shot was blocked, setting up the eventual game-winning transition three from Fairbanks from the left corner. After two free throws from MC, Rosenthal hit a jumper to cut it to three, but that was as close as VC would get as Messiah moved to 9-0 on the season.

Rosenthal led the Brewers offensively, tying for the game-high in points with 16, shooting 6-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-5 from downtown. Nick posted 12 points on 5-of-11 from the field, while Cook added 12 points in 33 minutes. Teta had team-high eight rebounds, while Maeve Sussman added three points and played great defensively all game.

The Brewers finished 16-of-54 from the floor (29.6 percent), going 4-of-16 from deep. VC did shoot the ball well from the line, making all 14 attempts Sunday. Vassar also held Messiah to nearly 25 points below its season scoring average.

Messiah was led by the double-double from Gillian Glackin, who posted 11 rebounds and 10 points, while Thornton added 16 points. Alecia Rohrer was very good overall, posting 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals. MC was 16-of-50 on the game, but out-rebounded Vassar 48-29 including 17 offensive caroms.

“I thought we played very well defensively, and we had a chance there late against a very good team in Messiah,” said head coach Candice Brown. “Our intensity was good, I thought it was encouraging, just the slow offensive start is what got us.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email