POUGHKEEPSIE – Sophomore Sierra McDermed led four players in double-figures with 20 points and closed a double-double with 10 rebounds as the Vassar College Women’s Basketball team pushed its winning streak to seven games with a 64-51 triumph over Liberty League preseason favorite Skidmore Wednesday evening.
Wednesday’s win improves Vassar to 8-1 overall on the season and to 3-0 in league play, while Skidmore slips to 6-3 and 2-1 against conference rivals.
Vassar opened the game on a 12-3 run sparked by three-pointers from Naiya Kurnik and Julia Harvey.
Skidmore pulled to within five points on a Julia Blanck bucket with 2:12 left in the first quarter before Vassar tallied seven of the final nine points of the quarter to grab a 19-9 lead through 10 minutes of play.
Vassar shot an even 50-percent from the floor in the opening quarter, hit on three triples and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Another Kurnik triple early in the second frame gave the Brewers a 22-12 lead with 8:39 left before halftime.
The Thoroughbreds came back with seven straight points, highlighted by an Emmy Plage bucket, to slice their disadvantage to 22-19.
Skidmore would pull to within a single point twice in the final 3:25 of the first half, but a pair of Kurnik free-throws with 70 seconds left in the second frame sent the Brewers into the intermission with a 30-27 advantage.
Vassar cooled to 30-percent shooting in the second stanza, but connected on all four of its free-throws.
After shooting under 30-percent over the opening 10 minutes, Skidmore went 7-for-19 in the second period and connected on a pair of three-pointers.
Vassar faced its first deficit of the game early in the third quarter when a pair of Blanck free-throws gave the visitors a 31-30 lead just 1:38 after the intermission.
Vassar quickly responded with a three-point play from Bella Tawney to regain a 33-31 lead.
After the Thoroughbreds came back and knotted the score at 33-33, Vassar scored the next eight points, highlighted by four points from Tawney, to surge in front 41-33 with 3:28 left in the quarter.
Skidmore pulled back to within 41-37 late in the period, before a McDermed triple and a three-pointer at the horn from Maddie Ahearn sent Vassar to the final period with a 48-37 advantage.
The Brewers went 5-for-12 from the floor in the third quarter, including a pair of triples.
Vassar expanded its lead to a game-high 16 points on a Tawney bucket and another three-pointer from McDermed in the first 90 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Skidmore got its disadvantage under double-figures just once in the final period, before a Tova Gelb bucket pushed the Brewers back in front 55-44 with 5:46 left to play.
A McDermed lay-in with 94 seconds grew the Brewers’ lead back to 64-49 before one final Skidmore jumper cut the final decision to 13 points.
Vassar finished the final stanza 6-for-11 from the floor and connected on two more three-pointers.
For The Brewers
McDermed matched the game-high with 20 points, going 6-for-11 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from three-point range. McDermed hauled in a season-high 10 rebounds to close a double-double and added an assist, a steal and two blocks.
Tawney netted a season-high 13 points, hauled in seven rebounds, handed out three assists and swatted a pair of blocks.
Kurnik finished with 12 points and four rebounds.
Harvey chipped in 10 points, three rebounds and a pair of helpers to the winning effort.
Gelb collected nine rebounds and led the team with four assists.
For The Thoroughbreds
Blanck led Skidmore with 20 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two steals and a pair of blocks.
Plage came off the bench to score 10 points.
Becca Horger led the team with three assists and five steals while contributing six points to the offensive effort.