The Ithaca College Women’s Basketball split a pair of weekend games as it hosted Liberty League opponents Skidmore and RPI. The Bombers remain a leader among the best of the league after dropping just their second conference matchup of the season.
The Bombers entered the weekend with a 15-3 overall record and looked to add to the win column in a Friday night matchup with the Skidmore Thoroughbreds, who entered the game with a 5-14 record on the season. The matchup looked to heavily favor the Bombers, considering the team was 7-0 at home prior to tip-off.
The Bombers opened the first quarter with a strong 21-16 showing and continued to add to their lead with a 12-10 advantage in the second quarter. At the half, the Bombers held a 33-26 lead and were registering substantial numbers in the shooting game, going 12-30 on field goals (40.00 percent) and shooting 33.33 percent from beyond the arc. Grace Cannon and Cassidy O’Malley led Ithaca in the first half with eight points each, while Cannon also led the rebounding game with five.
The start of the second half saw a similar result to the way that the first half ended with Ithaca edging out the Thoroughbreds 14-13 in the third quarter. From the start of the fourth quarter, Skidmore looked like a different team, as it put together a run that countered the lackluster finishing of the Bombers, who missed multiple chances in the early stages of the fourth.
With just over seven minutes to play, Skidmore had brought the game back to an even score, 47-47, on a Jessica Centore three-pointer.
Later, as both teams traded lead changes, the Thoroughbreds would edge the Bombers 6-4 inside of the final two minutes to steal the two-point victory and hand Ithaca its fourth loss of the season.
With their Friday night spoiled, the Bombers shifted attention to Saturday’s Senior Day celebration and the matchup with the RPI Engineers.
The first quarter opened with close back and forth action and saw a more than three-minute scoring drought to end the opening frame due to missed shots and multiple turnovers from both sides. Holding a 13-11 lead at the start of the second, the Bombers would be edged by the Engineers early in the frame scoring on three straight possessions to bring the game even midway through the quarter. From this point, the squads would trade blows and finish the half at a 26-26 scoreline.
The three-point shot was key for the bombers in the third quarter as RPI tallied points on more chances, but big makes from Megan Yawman and Meghan Pickell gave the Bombers enough points to trail only by one, 45-44, entering the fourth.
The fourth quarter was no different than the third, seeing the Bombers trailing by a slim two-point margin as the final second wound down. After RPI went ahead 62-59 on a made free throw with four seconds left, it looked like the Engineers were going to steal a win and ruin Senior Day for the Bombers. With no time to waste, Ithaca inbounded the ball and got it to senior Annie Giannone, who, from three feet inside of half court, heaved a long shot that fell at the buzzer, tying the game.
While the Bombers rushed the court and tackled Giannone, they needed to quickly find their composure for the overtime period that awaited them. In the extra frame, Ithaca rode the momentum from the regulation finish to outscore the Engineers 10-4 and emerge with a 72-66 victory.
With the win the bombers are now 16-4 overall and are 11-2 in Liberty League play, trailing only Vassar, 13-1 in conference play, for the league lead.
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