Vassar Basketball Secures 21st Consecutive Win

By Steven Merritt

POUGHKEEPSIE – Juniors Tova Gelb and Julia Harvey each recorded double-doubles to help lead the #RV/22 Vassar College Women’s Basketball team past Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 53-44 in the home regular season finale for the Brewers 21st consecutive victory on Saturday afternoon.

Vassar’s record improves to 22-1 overall on the season and a perfect 16-0 in conference action while the Engineers drop to 7-15 overall and 4-11 in Liberty League play.

First Half
The Engineers took an early 8-3 lead to open the first quarter as Siena Smith tallied five points and Nicole DaPra knocked down a three-pointer.

Vassar drew even at eight following three free throws from Harvey and a layup from sophomore Bella Tawney with 5:15 remaining in the opening period.

Vassar closed the opening quarter on a 11-0 run with sophomore Sierra McDermed recording five points while Gelb added four to take a 19-13 lead after one quarter.

The Brewers lead grew to nine at the 5:27 mark of the second quarter on back-to-back buckets from Gelb.

RPI got the lead down to seven on a lay-in from Marley Mueller at the three minute mark before Vassar closed the half on a 5-2 run with Gelb knocking down a three and sophomore Naiya Kurnik laying one to take a 30-20 lead at the half.

Vassar closed the first half shooting 31-percent from the field while connecting on three three-pointers and outscored RPI by nine at the free throw line.

The Engineers were limited to 28.6-percent in the first half and made four triples in the half.

Second Half
Vassar’s lead grew to a game-high 12 points three times in the third quarter as Harvey’s layup with 6:27 to go put the Brewers ahead 36-24.

RPI countered with a 9-2 run to trim the lead down to 38-33 with 3:40 to go on a lay-in from Sophie Costello.

Two free throws from Tyler Hormazabal just before the end of the third period put the Engineers within four.

To open the fourth quarter, a driving bucket from McDermed and two free throws from Harvey pushed the Brewers ahead by eight with 8:35 to go.

The Engineers responded with five straight points, cutting it to a one-possesion game with seven minutes left on a three from Danielle Strauf and a lay-in from DaPra.

Vassar answered once again as the Brewers scored eight straight points with two Gelb free throws putting Vassar ahead by double digits with 3:50 to go.

RPI was only able to get the lead down to nine in the final four minutes as junior Tash Thompson’s bucket put the Brewers ahead by 11 at the 1:34 mark.

Vassar was held to 23.1-percent shooting in the second half but converted seven more free throws than the Engineers.

RPI finished the second half at 33.3-percent overall and connected on two triples.

For The Brewers
Gelb recorded her 10th double-double of the season as she finished with 14 points, 18 rebounds (tying her career-high), five assists, four steals and two blocks.

Harvey added her first double-double of the season as the junior tallied 14 points and 13 boards.

McDermed was the third player in double figures as the sophomore recorded 14 points, four rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

For The Engineers
Smith led the way with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds while also adding four assists, two blocks and two steals.

Strauf tallied eight points, seven boards, six assists and two blocks while Ahnalese Pearson recorded six points.

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