TROY — For the first time since the 2014-15 season, the Vassar College women’s basketball team (9-8, 6-2 Liberty) has strung together four consecutive wins, beating Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (6-10, 1-6 Liberty) on the road Tuesday, 71-64.
Ariella Rosenthal logged game-highs in points (21) and rebounds (13) to notch her fourth double-double of the season. Sophie Nick added 13 points and five rebounds, Isa Peczuh tallied 11 points with three triples, and Kim Romanoff finished with 11 points and 10 boards, as the Brewers out-rebounded the Engineers, 46-27.
“I think it was a good win for us,” Rosenthal said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our game in the first half. We could have just rolled over and let the other team capitalize on that. But we showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight, and we came out in the second half ready to play, and we played our basketball and came out with a dub.”
The Brewers shot 36 percent from the floor, 28 percent from three and 91 percent (20-of-22) from the line, while the home team shot 38, 33 and 100 percent (4-of-4), respectively.
Elizabeth Eckhardt led the Engineers with 18 points and four steals and Shaina Iton added 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Sam Krumbhaar and Ines Ortea had 11 points apiece.
After RPI opened scoring with Kate Goodell’s layup, Rosenthal and Peczuh hit back-to-back buckets for Vassar to take its lone lead of the first half, 4-2.
The Engineers responded with a 16-2 run, broken up by Nick’s layup from Maeve Sussman, to take a double-digit lead, 18-6. The sides exchanged baskets to end the quarter, as RPI carried a 22-10 advantage into the second.
Peczuh and Rosenthal sparked a 14-3 surge in the second stanza with a pair of triples, closing the gap to as little as three, 27-24, at the 2:35 mark.
Although the Brewers gained ground toward the end of the first half, the Engineers slowly crept their lead up to nine, 38-29, about midway through the third quarter. That was the largest lead RPI saw the rest of the way, as Vassar continued to chip away.
Peczuh opened the fourth quarter with a triple to knot the game at 45-all before Nick swapped the lead for good with a three-pointer on the Brewers’ next possession.
“In the fourth quarter, we really took control of the reigns and capitalized on what we do best,” Rosenthal said. “We ran our plays, we played great defense. Our defense always sparks our offense, so that was really big for us.”
The Engineers spent much of the remaining time sending the Brewers to the line, as Vassar’s final 14 points of the game came from the charity stripe. Rosenthal all-but-iced the game, knocking down four straight free throws to make it a three-possession ballgame with 57 seconds remaining, 62-53.
The Brewers look to extend their winning streak to five for the first time since the 2013-14 team, playing at William Smith College on Friday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m.