Vassar Brewers Get Back On Track With Win at Ithaca

ITHACA – A day after suffering just its second loss of the season, the #RV/20 Vassar College Women’s Basketball team rebounded with a hard fought 66-59 road win at Ithaca in the regular season finale. Four players scored in double-figures for the Brewers, led by a game-high 22 points from junior Tova Gelb.

Vassar, who has clinched the top seed in next week’s Liberty League Championship, closes the regular season with a 23-2 overall record and a 17-1 mark in league play. Ithaca, who will be the third seed in the championship, moves to 20-5 against 14-4 against conference rivals.

First Half

A back-and-forth start saw the Brewers use a 7-0 run, capped by a Gelb triple, to push in front 9-4 just four minutes into the contest.

Vassar surged in front by seven, at 13-6, following a Bella Tawney conversion with 2:35 left in the first frame.

Vassar maintained the advantage until a Tori Drevna bucket capped a 9-2 stretch for the Bombers that knotted the score at 15-15.

Gelb countered with another three-pointer to give Vassar back the lead, but a Hannah Polce bucket in the closing seconds for Ithaca sliced the Brewers’ advantage to 18-17 through 10 minutes of play.

Ithaca stormed out of the gate in the second frame, scoring the period’s first 10 points to open a 27-18 advantage on a Junie Dickson three-pointer 2:56 into the quarter.

A Gelb conversion at the 6:26 mark stopped the Ithaca run, but Vassar would trail until the closing seconds of the second frame.

After falling behind 34-27 with 3:49 left before halftime, Vassar finished the second quarter on an 8-0 run.

A pair of Tawney free-throws brought Vassar to within 34-32 with 51 seconds left in the quarter.

After snaring a defensive rebound, Sierra McDermed raced down the floor and canned a deep three-pointer at the horn to cap the run and send Vassar into the intermission with a slim 35-34 advantage.

The Brewers shot 34.3-percent from the floor prior to halftime and connected on four three-pointers.

Ithaca shot an even 50-percent over the opening 20 minutes and also hit on four three-pointers.

Vassar finished with a 7-2 advantage in scoring from the free-throw line in the first half.

Second Half

The two sides traded the lead three times in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but a pair of Julia Harvey free-throws pushed Vassar in front 42-40 and gave the Brewers the lead for good in the game.

The Vassar defense held Ithaca to just three field goals in the third quarter and without a field goal over the final 5:48.

Gelb knocked in a pair of free-throws in the closing seconds of the quarter to push the Brewers in front 48-42 with 10 minutes left to play.

A Gelb bucket 90 seconds into the fourth period improved Vassar’s standing to 50-43, their largest lead of the final quarter.

Ithaca pulled to within 50-48 on another Dickson triple with 6:42 left to play.

Two Annabella Yorio free-throws at the 3:50 mark closed the Vassar advantage to 54-53.

Holding a one-point lead, Naiya Kurnik hit a jumper to push Vassar back in front by three and later canned a triple with 1:42 left to play to spread the Brewers’ lead out to 59-54.

The Brewers would match their largest lead of the quarter, at seven points, four times, including on a pair of McDermed free-throws with 21 seconds left to close out the scoring.

Vassar slipped to 29.6-percent shooting from the field in the second half and went 2-for-10 from three-point range.

Ithaca was limited to a 26.1-percent conversion rate after halftime and went 1-for-7 from bonus distance.

For The Brewers

Gelb led all scorers in the game with 22 points after going 8-for-18 from the floor with a pair of triples. Gelb went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line and added team-highs with nine rebounds and three steals to go along with a pair of assists.

McDermed checked in with 13 points and posted eight rebounds and a pair of assists.

Harvey scored 11 points and collected three rebounds.

Tawney reached double-figures for the third time this season, notching 11 points to go along with six boards and a trio of blocked shots.

Kurnik scored five big fourth quarter points and hauled in three rebounds.

Maddie Ahearn led the team with three assists and chipped in two points and a pair of rebounds.

For The Bombers

Dickson led the scoring attack with 13 points, connecting on three triples.

Camryn Coffey totaled 12 points and recorded five rebounds.

Yorio led the team with nine caroms and contributed eight points.

Anya Watkins finished with nine points on the strength of 4-for-6 shooting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email