Women's basketball dribbles to 2-1 week

The women’s basketball team split a pair of games over the long weekend and lost to Vassar College on Tuesday night in Poughkeepsie.

On Friday night, the women traveled to Saratoga Springs to battle the Liberty League rival Skidmore College. First-place Skidmore defended its position and moved to 2.5 games ahead of second-place RPI with two scoring drives that led to the win. Although the teams were tied with 22 points apiece at the half, the Skidmore Thoroughbreds pulled away quickly, going on a 10-3 run to break open the second half and held onto the lead for a 59-53 finish. With the victory, Skidmore improves to 18-3 overall and 10-1 in the league while RPI falls to 12-9 overall and 7-3 in the league. Rensselaer started strong with a 15-5 lead, but that was negated when they let the Thoroughbreds take momentum on a 15-4 run before the teams tied it up heading into the half.

The finish was not without excitement, as RPI came within one point (38-37) with 7:33 to go in the game from sophomore Nicole Monroe and senior Amanda Brophy’s layups and a three-pointer from junior Allison Conner. But Skidmore’s 10-2 run at just under five minutes remaining was too much for RPI to overcome, as they were only able to come within three points before falling to the league rivals.The Engineers were led by sophomore Hillary McKinley, who had 13 points and seven rebounds. Brophy and Monroe each finished with 10 points and four rebounds in the contest.

The following night, the Engineers avenged their loss with a 56-45 victory over Route 7 rival Union College Dutchwomen in Schenectady. Led by graduate student Whitney Coleman’s 21 points, RPI secured a tournament spot with three games remaining. Coleman added eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals in her 39 minutes of play. The majority of her scoring was in the first half, which finished with RPI up 36-28. McKinley led Rensselaer in rebounds with nine, while also adding six points as well.

Despite running out to a five point lead in the first six minutes, Union quickly saw RPI tie it back up at 16-apiece just three minutes later before pulling ahead to an eight point lead heading into the half. In the second half, Union managed a 9-1 run at 14:44 remaining to cut RPI’s lead to one (40-39). Rensselaer then took control of the game with an 11-4 run over 12 minutes before going on to win by 11 points.

RPI fell to Vassar in Poughkeepsire on Tuesday night by a score of 59-55. Coleman led the Engineers with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists, while McKinley added eight points and seven rebounds and Brophy netted eight points as well in the loss.

Indoor Track & Field

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams both took first out of four in their Liberty League Championships on Saturday at St. Lawrence in Canton, N.Y. The men’s team finished with a total of 178 points while the women finished with 182. The men were led by senior Kyle Barden, who won the 400 and 200-meter dash events as well as anchoring the team’s 4×200 relay team that finished in 1:32.43 and set a Liberty League record time. Junior Alec Marshall won the 55-meter hurdles.

Named Most Outstanding Field Performer, sophomore Morgan Danner led the women with a winning pole vault height of 3.05 meters and a long jump of 5.22 meters. She also took third in the triple jump (10.22 meters) and helped the 4×200 meter relay to a second place finish. Sophomore Stephanie Bardon finished first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:25.23 and was on the winning distance medley relay team as well.

Four student-athletes were honored by the Liberty League in the weekly awards: Barden and senior Justin Metzger for the men’s side and senior Cassie Fortini and Danner for the women.

The teams return to action on Saturday at the Cornell Invitational.