By Steven Merritt
POUGHKEEPSIE – Sophomore Julia Harvey tallied a career-high 27 points and classmate Tova Gelb added 21 points as the Vassar College Women’s Basketball team gave #10 Ithaca College its first loss in two months with a 75-71 home victory on Saturday afternoon. The Brewers move to 17-8 overall on the season and 14-4 in Liberty League contests while the Bombers drop to 22-3 overall and 17-1 in conference matchups.
Ithaca got out to an early 9-5 lead on a triple from Camryn Coffey at the 5:02 mark of the first quarter before Vassar drew even at nine after buckets from senior Eliza Srinivasan and Gelb. The two teams traded leads throughout the remainder of the first period as the Bombers held a two point lead following a jumper from Cara Volpe.
Consecutive three-pointers from Harvey put the Brewers ahead 21-20 with 7:23 left in the half before a bucket from Lindsey Albertelli and two free throws from Volpe regained the lead for Ithaca. Two free throws and lay-in from freshman Sierra McDermed with 4:11 left put VC ahead by three as both teams continued to trade leads throughout the quarter. A free throw from senior Alex Lee tied the contest at 37 apiece heading into the halftime intermission.
Ithaca got out to its largest lead of the contest following an 8-0 run as two buckets from Emily Dorn along with points from Coffey and Albertelli put the Bombers ahead 52-44 (4:17). Harvey answered with five straight points of her own to cut the advantage down to three with 3:01 to go in the quarter. Hannah Polce canned a triple with 25 seconds left in the quarter but freshman Naiya Kurnik’s layup cut the Ithaca lead to 57-53 heading into the fourth quarter.
Albertelli converted a three-point play to open the fourth stanza and the Bombers lead grew to seven. After two free throws from Dorn put Ithaca up 62-55, Vassar rattled off a 12-2 run and regained the lead for the first time since the midway through the second quarter with a lay-in from Harvey at the 4:04 mark.
Natalie Smith’s bucket tied the score with just under four minutes left but Harvey canned another triple to regain the lead. Gelb’s jumper put the Brewers ahead by three at the three minute mark before a bucket from Dorn and a free throw from Polce tied the game at 71 with 1:23 to go. Vassar held the Bombers scoreless for the remainder of the quarter while McDermed and Srinivasan each made two free throws to clinch the Vassar victory over the 10th-ranked Bombers.
Harvey led the way with 27 points on 8-for-13 overall, 4-for-7 from three-point range and 7-for-8 from free throw line and added nine rebounds. Gelb tallied 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field and chipped in eight boards, two steals and an assist. Lee recorded nine points and two assists while Srinivasan chipped in six points and a game-high six assists.
Dorn had a game-high 19 points on 6-for-8 from the field and nine rebounds while Albertelli tallied 17 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Volpe recorded 10 points, six boards and six assists while Annabelle Yorio added 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals off the bench.
The Brewers shot 42.4-percent from the field overall and knocked down five triples while Ithaca was 39.1-percent and made three three-pointers. Vassar outscored Ithaca by six at the free throw line and held a 12-7 edge in second chance points while outscoring the Bombers in the paint.