FARMINGDALE – Sophomore Elizabeth Limonta came off the bench to lead three players in double-figures as the Mount Saint Mary College Women’s Basketball team battled past Farmingdale State by a score of 63-59 on Saturday afternoon.
Mount Saint Mary jumped out to an 11-4 lead on a Lyndsay Pace triple with 4:21 left in the first quarter and did not fall behind in the opening stanza until a Tyra Harrison three-pointer capped an 8-0 run for the Rams and gave them a 12-11 lead with 2:52 left in the first.
The Knights quickly grabbed the lead back on a Jessica Rini jumper and after another Harrison triple got a trey from Pace in the closing seconds of the first frame to give the Knights a 16-15 lead after 10 minutes of action.
Neither team scored in the second period until a Limonta bucket at the 7:25 mark that gave the Knights an 18-15 lead. Maite Gritsko pushed the lead to five points and after the Rams moved in front 22-20, the Knights went into halftime with a 27-22 lead after a quick 7-0 run.
The Mount converted at an even 40-percent before halftime and held Farmingdale State to a 21.9-percent effort over the first two quarters. Pace led all players at the break with 10 points, knocking in both of the team’s first half three-point field goals.
The Mount maintained the lead throughout the second half and jumped in front 37-28 on a Limonta bucket 4:54 into the third frame. Farmingdale State closed to within two points late in the third period, but a 7-2 spurt to close the period capped by a Jordyn Hellpap triple sent the Mount to the fourth quarter with a 47-40 advantage.
The Knights’ lead reached double-figures for the first time early in the fourth on a Kayla Cleare jumper to move them in front 51-40 and the game-high advantage came on a Limonta fast break bucket that gave the Knights a 57-45 lead with 7:07 left to play.
The Mount equaled the game-high 12 point lead with 5:06 left in regulation on a pair of Bridget Kelly free-throws, before the Rams made a rally and closed the disadvantage to just two points with 1:14 left to play.
Kaelyn Ward capped a 12-2 run with a three-pointer to get Farmingdale State to within 61-59, but the Rams would not score again and free-throws from Kelly and Gritsko in the final six seconds secured the win for Mount Saint Mary.
Limonta finished the game 6-for-8 from the floor and reached double-figures for the fourth time this season. She added five rebounds and three steals in the win. Pace and Rini each scored 10 points, with Rini adding three assists and a pair of steals.
Gritsko led all players in the game with a career-high 11 rebounds, adding seven points and five assists. Cleare added nine rebounds with Kelly closing a solid all-around game with seven points, six rebounds and a game-high four steals.
Ward finished with a game-high 16 points for the Rams and led three players in double-figures. She closed a strong game with seven rebounds and five assists.
Mount Saint Mary shot 45.1-percent from the floor in the win and outscored Farmingdale State 28-14 in the paint. The Rams were held to 27.9-percent shooting for the game with 11 of their 19 field goals coming from behind the arc.
Saturday’s win pushes Mount Saint Mary to 17-5 overall on the season and to 13-3 in league play.