By Amie Canfield
ITHACA – A huge fourth quarter effort proved to be the difference as Ithaca College posted a 72-80 victory over Vassar College in Liberty League women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon. The win moves the Bombers to 22-3 and 17-1 in league play, while the Brewers move to 17-7 with a 16-2 Liberty League mark.
Ithaca has secured the top-seed in the Liberty League Tournament for the third straight season and will host the semifinals and championship game next weekend at Ben Light Gymnasium. The Bombers also extended their 17 game winning streak in the victory. Vassar has secured the second-seed and the First Round bye, advancing to the Liberty League Semifinal game next weekend. Full seedings will be released after all games are completed in conference play.
Vassar held a 59-56 lead after three quarters of play, but Ithaca came roaring back behind solid shooting and equally impressive defense as they held the Brewers to just 13 points in the frame. The Bombers went on a 9-0 run to open the final stanza, powered by a three from Camryn Coffey that opened the advantage to 63-59 with 7:04 on the clock.
Layups from junior captain Eliza Srinivasan and senior captain Dani Douglas helped keep it close, 68-63, but the Bombers continued to keep pace as Grace Cannon dropped in a pair of free throws and Melissa Buxton knocked in a layup for the 72-65 lead with just 3:16 to go.
Srinivasan closed the margin at the line, draining a pair to cut the deficit to 72-67, but the Bombers rebounded and took advantage at the line themselves to open the score to 75-67. Douglas, who set the single-season record for three-pointers made during the first quarter, dropped in her third of the game with just 29 seconds remaining, but the Bombers dropped in five shots at the free throw line down the stretch to secure the victory.
The Brewers trailed after the opening quarter, despite Douglas’s three-pointer at the 6:40 mark that gave her 84 trey’s on the season and the new program record. Vassar rallied in the second quarter after falling behind 26-18 at the 7:52 mark following a Megan Yawman layup. Srinivasan dropped in a three-pointer, followed on the next possession by a trey from senior captain Sarah Gillooly to move the score to 28-24.
Following a pair of free throws from junior Alex Lee, Gillooly tied things at 28-all with a layup at 5:06 and the Brewers later tied it 31-all on a shot from downtown by rookie Julia Harvey with 4:35 to go. Vassar rained down three’s to close out the quarter as Douglas and Harvey each banked a shot from outside to give the Brewers a 37-31 lead at halftime.
Ithaca was paced by Coffey, who dropped in 17 points and six rebounds with two assists and a steal. Cannon added 13 points and eight boards with an assist, two blocks and a steal, while Buxton posted 13 points and six rebounds with five assists.
For Vassar, Gillooly led the way with 18 points and five boards, adding a game-best six assists and a game-high five steals. Douglas posted 15 points and three boards with two assists and a steal, while Harvey added 13 points with three boards and a steal. Srinivasan rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points and a team-best six boards with three assists and two steals.
Additionally, Douglas’s three at 6:40 of the opening quarter as she eclipsed the school record for three-point field goals made in a season with 84. The previous mark of 83 was held by Isa Peczuh ‘20, who did it in the 2018-19 campaign.