By Steven Merritt
TROY – Senior Eliza Srinivasan scored a career-high 19 points, all in the second half, and sophomore Tova Gelb notched her second career double-double to lead the Vassar College Women’s Basketball team to its seventh straight victory, 67-55 over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday afternoon at the ECAV Arena. Vassar improves to 14-7 and 11-3 in Liberty League play while the Engineers fall to 9-12 and 6-8 in conference action.
Following a low scoring first half that saw RPI hold a 22-19 lead after the first 20 minutes, the two teams traded buckets throughout the early stretches of the third quarter. A three-point play from Heather Converse put the Engineers up 32-29 at the 6:01 mark until Gelb converted an and-one opportunity of her own to tie the game up. Molly Libby knocked down a triple for RPI to put them up by two with 2:13 remaining in the quarter until Srinivasan scored the final nine points of the quarter to give the Brewers a 46-39 advantage heading into the final period of regulation.
Two free throws from Srinivasan at the start of the fourth quarter gave her 11 straight points before a jumper from Brielle Sharry slowed the Vassar run (6:51). Lolo Reynolds’ three-pointer with 4:24 left cut the Brewers lead down to six before Srinivasan took over once against and converted back-to-back jumpers to put Vassar ahead 63-52 at the 1:37 mark. A jumper from freshman Sierra McDermed got the lead to a game-high 12 points with just under 30 seconds remaining as Vassar clinched its seventh straight win with a 67-55 victory over RPI.
Srinivasan finished her career night with 19 points on 5-for-7 shooting and 8-for-12 from the free throw line while adding nine rebounds and a team-high five assists. Gelb recorded her first double-double of the season with 18 points (6-for-12 shooting) and grabbed 10 boards. Senior Alex Lee added 12 points along with three boards, two assists and two steals while McDermed chipped in seven points and three boards off the bench.
Converse tallied a game-high 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting and added six boards and two steals for RPI. Sherry added nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals along with Reynolds scoring eight points, grabbing four boards and handing out two assists. Nicole DaPra finished with seven points, four steals three rebounds and three assists for the Engineers.
Vassar finished the contest shooting 35.8 percent of its attempts (24 of 67) while RPI shot 35.6 percent (21 of 59). Both teams converted on four three pointers, but the Brewers held the edge at the free throw line with a 15-9 advantage. The Brewers also had a 47-33 edge in rebounds, including 14-5 on the offensive glass. VC held a 20-13 edge in points off turnovers as well as a 14-4 advantage in second chance points.
The Brewers will return to action on Friday night on the road against RIT with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.