The William Smith College basketball team dominated the boards, played tough perimeter defense and enjoyed one of their best shooting games of the season, ringing in the new year with a 70-53 Liberty League win at Rochester Institute of Technology tonight. With the win, the Herons improve to 3-6 overall, 2-1 in the conference, while the loss drops the Tigers to 5-3, 2-1.
William Smith outrebounded RIT 52-38. Maddie Patrick led the Herons on the glass, grabbing a season- and game-high 12 boards.
Defensively, William Smith limited the Tigers to 27% shooting for the night. The Herons were particularly effective on the perimeter. RIT missed its first 16 3-point tries before converting. The Tigers finished the night 1-of-18 from beyond the arc.
Offensively, the Herons shot 43% from the floor, its best shooting game since knocking down 46% of its shots against Keuka in the season opener. William Smith was 5-of-13 from deep, a 39% success rate, their best so far this season. Three Herons reached double digits in the scoring column led by Olivia Parisi’s 18-point night. Lauren DeVaney notched her sixth double-double of the season on 17 points and 10 rebounds. Brooke Jarvis also scored 17 points before fouling out with 3:52 left in the game. Christina Mitrow and Kerstin Kelly shared game-high honors with six assists apiece.
RIT’s Emma Waite led all scorers with 20 points to go with a team-high five assists. Kaleesha Joseph chipped in 12 points and six boards before fouling out 20 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Joseph scored the game’s opening basket, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead, their only advantage of the game. Jarvis scored on consecutive possessions to give William Smith the lead 4-2. RIT would tie the game at 4, 6, 8 and 10, but the Herons took the lead for good with eight straight points late in the first quarter. The Tigers made the final two buckets of the frame and trailed 18-14 heading into the second quarter.
William Smith scored the first five points of the second quarter to stretch its lead to 23-14 and ended the half on a 10-2 run, carrying a 35-21 advantage into the break. Katie Smythe and Kelly closed out the first half scoring with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Parisi led all scorers with 10 first-half points.
Joseph scored the first four points of the second half and Waite followed with a driving layup to pull the Tigers with eight, 35-27, but they would get no closer.
The Herons maintained a double digit lead throughout the fourth quarter, building its largest lead of the game on a Mitrow 3-pointer with three minutes left, 66-46, and against on a DeVaney layup in the final minute, 70-50.
William Smith will be back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 when the Herons visit Ithaca (6-3, 2-1). The Bombers defended their home court tonight, defeating RPI 72-40.
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