Vassar Brewers Take Down Union Dutchwomen

By Steven Merritt

POUGHKEEPSIE – Freshman Sierra McDermed poured in a game-high 17 points as the Vassar College Women’s Basketball team earned a hard fought come from behind victory over Union 60-54 on Tuesday evening. Vassar improves to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in Liberty League play while Union falls to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in conference action.

In the opening five minutes of the first quarter, Vassar and Union traded buckets as sophomore Tova Gelb tallied five points for Brewers and four different Dutchwomen got on the board with the Vassar holding a 10-9 lead at the 4:43 mark. A layup from Elizabeth Pica gave Union a 14-12 lead with 1:29 remaining and the Dutchwomen took a one point lead at 16-15 after one quarter following a putback from Pica.

Union extended its lead to 25-18 with 4:09 left in the first half after Claudia Porto’s triple on a feed from Kennedy Clark. Freshman Caroline Siekman recorded four straight points about 30 seconds apart to trim the lead down to three with about two minutes remaining. Three-point jumpers from Emma Riley and Maura Conan along with a jumper from Olivia Pachla in the final 1:42 of the first half to give the Dutchwomen a 33-22 lead at the break.

The Brewers started the second half with four straight three-pointers as freshman Sierra McDermed buried three triples and Gelb knocked down one to take a 34-33 with just under eight minutes to go. Union responded with a Kendall DeGenhardt three-pointer and Pachla lay-in to regain the lead at 38-34 at the 5:04 mark. A three-pointer from Harvey with just under five minutes to go in the quarter was the final bucket in the third period as Union held a 38-37 advantage heading into the final stanza.

After a Dutchwomen layup to begin the quarter, Harvey tallied four points along with a triple from Alex Lee to give Vassar a 44-40 lead with seven and a half minutes left in the contest. Union rattled off a 9-0 run over the next four minutes on buckets from four different players before McDermed knocked down her fifth triple of the contest to cut it to 51-49 with 2:28 left. Gelb converted a lay-in on an assist from sophomore Julia Harvey with two minutes left to tie the contest as neither team scored in the final minutes and the game was sent to overtime.

Vassar scored the first six points of the overtime period on layups from Lee, Gelb and senior Eliza Srinivasan before three free throws from Union cut the lead down to three at the 1:04 mark. Lee’s three free throws in the final 26 seconds sealed the victory for Vassar and its second conference win of the season.

McDermed recorded her 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting, including 5-10 from three-point range and added three steals. Lee and Gelb each added 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Harvey chipped in nine points and a team-high nine rebounds with Srinivasan handing out a team-high seven assists for the Brewers.

The Dutchwomen had seven players tally six or more points in the contest as Megan Lee had a team-high nine points and eight rebounds while Kennedy Clark added seven points, five assists and four steals. DeGenhardt chipped in seven points, two assists and two boards.

Vassar finished the contest shooting 33.3-percent and made 10 three-pointers while Union shot 38.2-percent from the field and knocked down seven triples.

The Brewers will return following the winter break to take on Gordon College on Friday, January 30th.

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