By Amie Canfield
CANTON – Powered by double-figure efforts from three different players, the Vassar College women’s basketball team came from behind to defeat St. Lawrence University, 58-54 in Liberty League action on Saturday afternoon. The Brewers move to 6-6 overall and 3-2 in league action, while the Saints are now 6-3 and 2-2 in the Liberty League.
St. Lawrence owned a 27-20 lead after the opening two quarters of play, but Vassar worked to chip that lead down as a layup from senior captain and guard Alex Lee made it a 31-27 game, but an ensuing bucket from junior forward Cam Roberts pushed the score back to a six-point advantage (33-27) with 6:10 remaining in the frame. Powered by a strong offensive effort and staunch defense, the Saints carried a 16-point (43-27) lead into the final frame.
Fourth quarter action saw the Brewers respond, going on a 6-0 run to close the gap to 10 points (43-33). A pair of makes at the line from SLU senior guard Olivia Middleton followed, but Vassar responded once again as rookie guard Sierra McDermed drove in for the layup with under eight to play and a 45-36 score.
A bucket from senior captain and guard Eliza Srinivasan and a free throw make soon after, made it a 45-39 margin with 6:45 to play. Vassar’s defense stepped up, holding the Saints scoreless over a two-minute span, continuing to chip away as Srinivasan drove the lane to pull it to 45-41 with 5:16 to go. The Brewers capitalized on a SLU turnover, taking it to the other end as Lee dropped in a layup to cut it to two (45-43) and forcing a timeout at 5:05.
Nice pass in the paint by Srinivasan to Harvey driving in, tied the game at 45-all with 4:23 to play and the Brewers took the lead as Harvey answered with a three-pointer (48-45) on the next possession. McDermed added a layup and a free throw make to push the lead to 51-45 and despite a trey from Rhone, Vassar continued to keep pace as Gelb dropped in a layup for the 53-48 margin with 2:41 on the clock.
With 1:29 to play, Middleton pulled the Saints back to within five, but the Brewers defense held strong over the final minute, holding the home team to just four points while taking advantage at the free throw line as Lee drained one of two, while McDermed sank both for the 58-54 final score.
McDermed led all players with a game-high 14 points, going 4-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the free throw line with two assists and two steals. Harvey dropped in 13 points with five caroms, also recording a steal, while Lee had 11 points and five rebounds with two steals. Srinivasan added eight points and five boards with a game-best five assists.
For St. Lawrence, Rhone posted 13 points with three boards, three assists and two steals. Middleton added nine points and five rebounds with three assists and two steals as Van Dyke notched eight points with three rebounds. Roberts finished with a game-best four blocks, adding seven points, three caroms and an assist as well.