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Herons eliminated from tournament chase with 89-77 loss to Vassar

For three quarters, the William Smith College basketball team gave Liberty League co-leader Vassar College all it could handle. However, the Brewers rode a big fourth quarter to an 89-77 win over the Herons in Bristol Gymnasium Friday.

William Smith shot 37% from the floor for the game with seven 3-pointers and went 10-of-12 at the free throw line. The Herons controlled the glass, outrebounding Vassar 60-41. The game was tightly contest, featuring 17 lead changes and 10 ties.

Brooke Jarvis was William Smith’s leading scorer with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Olivia Parisi also produced a double-double on 15 points and 10 rebounds. Christina Mitrow poured in a career-high 20 points. Lauren DeVaney corralled a game and career-high 21 rebounds, the most by a Heron since Mia Morrison had 19 in 2019. Kerstin Kelly dished out a game-high six assists.

The Brewers were led by Sarah Gillolly’s game-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers, and team-high nine boards. Dani Douglas added 20 points and seven rebounds. Tova Gelb tossed in 17 points off the bench and Julia Harvey scored 11 points. Vassar shot 36.8% from the field and finished the game 15-of-45 from beyond the arc. The Brewers were 18-of-23 at the free throw line.

The Herons led 22-20 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a late Mitrow 3-pointer. Vassar grabbed a 47-41 lead on a traditional 3-point play by Gillooly with 38 seconds left in the half. And once again, Mitrow connected from behind the arc late, to cut the deficit to three going into halftime.

Vassar built its 47-44 lead in large part on 10 first half 3-pointers. Jarvis and Douglas shared the scoring lead at the break with 15 points apiece. DeVaney grabbed 10 first half, helping the Herons to a 32-17 advantage on the glass.

Jarvis sank a pair of free throws to end the third quarter scoring with William Smith in front 64-61. The game turned on a five-minute stretch early in the fourth quarter. Parisi made a layup to start the fourth quarter but the Herons wouldn’t score another point until just four minutes remained. During the five minute drought, William Smith went 0-for-5 from the floor with five turnovers. On the other side of the ledger, Vassar scored 17 straight on 6-of-7 shooting with three 3-pointers. Gillooly had nine points during the surge.

The Herons regained their composure and rattled off eight straight points to get within four, 78-74, with 1:43 left. Harvey made a key 3-pointer for the Brewers with 1:32 to go. From there, Vassar put the game away at the free throw line, making all eight of its free throws in the final minute.

William Smith (7-17, 6-11) will close out the regular season Saturday, Feb. 19 when they host Rensselaer (5-17, 4-13). Prior to the 2 p.m. tipoff, the Herons will honor their seniors Christina Mitrow and Olivia Parisi.