By Amie Canfield
CANTON – It was an exciting finish that didn’t go Vassar’s way on Saturday as the Brewers shouldered a two-point loss in overtime at St. Lawrence in Liberty League action. The Saints pulled off a 79-77 victory after a pair of free throws from Ava McCann held up despite a pair of shots at the line from the Brewers in the final seconds.
With the win, St. Lawrence moved to 14-5, 10-2 Liberty League, extending their win streak to eight, while Vassar fell to 13-6, 9-3.
The Saints were 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in overtime, including a 6-for-6 performance from McCann, who led the team with a career-high 31 points, shooting 12-for-24 from the field. Katie Frederick recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Jackie Cenan paced the way for the Brewers with 19 points, adding eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks in the contest. Sophie Nick chipped in with 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Ryan DeOrio had 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Sarah Gillooly closed out the double-figure leaders for the Brewers, recording 10 points with three assists.
From the opening tip, the game was a back and forth contest. The aggressive defense by the Saints and the scoring power of McCann, who had 18 in the half, allowed the Saints to enter the half with a three-point lead. Both teams were almost identical shooting from the field as St. Lawrence shot 48.5% while Vassar shot 46.9%.
As the second half began, the Saints picked up where they left off with a 3-pointer by Annabella Pugliese to take a 38-32 lead, their largest of the night. Vassar, led by back-to-back 3-pointers by Gillooly, was able to gain the lead late in the third quarter and led by one going into the fourth.
Vassar carried the momentum into the fourth quarter leading 54-49, their largest lead of the day, with 6:40 left to play. However, the Saints’ offense quickly bounced back to regain the lead with 2:17 left to play. With 17 seconds left in regulation, the Saints were leading 64-62 after a made free throw by Fredrick. Vassar’s Jackie Cenan was able to score with six seconds left after initially missing her first attempt and grabbing her own rebound to tie the game 64-64, sending it to overtime.
Tied at 70 with 1:19 on the clock following a Cenan layup, Dylan Watkiss landed a three that put the Saints up 73-70. With two seconds to play, DeOrio nailed a three to pull the Brewers within four and senior Isa Peczuh converted a pair of layups in the final second, but it was not enough.
The Saints’ will travel to Geneva to play William Smith, while the Brewers travel to Bard. Both games begin at 5:30pm.