By Steven Merritt
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Vassar College Women’s Basketball team saw its eight game winning streak come to an end on Saturday as the Brewers fell in a hard-fought 71-66 road contest against Skidmore. Sophomore Julia Harvey tallied 21 points and 10 rebounds for Vassar as VC falls to 15-8 and 12-4 in Liberty League action. Skidmore improves to 18-5 and 14-2 in conference action.
Vassar opened up the game with a quick 8-2 lead as two layups from freshman Bella Tawney and a three-pointer from sophomore Tova Gelb paced the scoring early. Skidmore countered with the next five points on a jumper from Amelia Medolla and a triple from Cassie Davidson to trim the advantage to one at the 5:52 mark. Vassar responded with a 11-2 run over the next two minutes to take a double digit lead as sophomore Julia Harvey scored eight points during the run, including back-to-back triples. Julia Blanck tallied the final four points of the quarter to cut the Brewers lead to 19-13 after the opening period.
Blanck’s jumper at 8:48 of the second quarter trimmed the Vassar lead to 19-17 before two free throws from senior Alex Lee moved the lead to three at 23-20. Skidmore went on a 10-0 run over the next 1:48 as a three-pointer from Emmy Plage put the Thoroughbreds ahead 30-23 at the 4:34 mark. The Brewers answered with a run of its own, tallying the next seven points with freshman Sierra McDermed scoring five and classmate Naiya Kurnik’s layup tied the game at 30 with 1:56 left in the first half. Madison Meyer’s and-one put Skidmore ahead by three with just under a minute remaining until Kurnik converted again in the paint to cut Skidmore’s halftime advantage to 35-34.
Medolla’s triple at the 7:49 mark put the Thoroughbreds ahead 43-37 before five straight points from Harvey cut the lead down to one with 7:02 remaining in the quarter. Another three-pointer from Medolla along with two Blanck free throws with 2:44 left extended the Skidmore lead to 50-43.
After two free throws made by senior Eliza Srinivasan to open the fourth quarter, Skidmore scored nine straight over the next three and a half minutes with Meyer scoring four and Davidson knocking down a three-pointer to go ahead 63-47. Harvey’s three-pointer at the 2:23 mark cut the lead down to 10 and two free throws from Lee with 1:43 left got the advantage back down to single digits. A three-point point play from McDermed with 47 seconds left trimmed the Thoroughbreds lead down to six at 68-62 and after Skidmore split a pair of free throws, Lee knocked down a triple with 32 seconds left to get Vassar within four at 69-65 but were unable to get closer as Skidmore took the 71-66 victory.
Harvey finished the day with a double-double with 21 points on 7-for-8 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range along with 10 boards. Lee added 12 points and four boards while McDermed provided 11 points, three boards, two assists and three steals off the bench. Gelb chipped in seven points, three steals, three rebounds and two assists.
Medolla finished the contest with 21 points for the Thoroughbreds on 7-for-13 shooting and also had four assists and two steals. Blanck finished with a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards along with two blocks and two steals. McCarney chipped in nine points, three assists and three boards off the bench along with Maddie Hastings adding four points, five boards, three assists and two steals.
The Brewers shot 32.1-percent overall while making eight three-pointers and converting on 22 free throws. Skidmore finished at 39.7-percent and also had eight made triples while knocking down 17 free throws. The Thoroughbreds held a 17-12 edge in points off turnovers along with a 26-16 advantage in points in the paint.
Vassar will return home for its final two regular season contests of the season when they play host to William Smith on Friday night and Ithaca on Saturday afternoon.