RPI women’s basketball turned it around after successive losses to St. Lawrence University and Clarkson University, winning three games in a row. The first was a comfortable victory against Vassar College by a score of 74-59.
The Engineers started exceptionally well, jumping out to a 16-point lead seven minutes into the first half. After a 10-0 run by Vassar, RPI responded and rebuilt a sizable lead. The team went into halftime with a 39–22 lead while shooting 48 percent from the field.
The second half was more even, but RPI was able to extend its lead to 23 points in the first five minutes. Vassar kept the game close, outscoring RPI by two in the period, but the Engineers were able to put the game away as they maintained their lead for the entire half. Senior Hillary McKinley finished with a game-high 21 points and three blocks.
Next, RPI played host to William Smith College in a game that went down to the last possession. The Engineers stayed close during the first half despite shooting 11-34 from the floor, including 2-11 from beyond the arc. The first half finished with the Engineers down only one point, and they went into the break confident that they could overcome that deficit.
However, William Smith jumped out to a nine-point lead halfway through the second period. RPI slowly forced its way back into the game, led by seniors Sarah Wetmore, Lauren Hayes, and McKinley. With only a minute remaining, Wetmore hit a jumper to tie the game at 50 points each. William Smith then came down the court, but RPI’s defense was strong and forced its opponents to miss a three-pointer. After a timeout, freshman Jen Rock stole the ball with only two seconds remaining. After RPI’s timeout, Rock received a pass from Hayes and then nailed a 15 footer to win the game as time expired. Rock led the team with 13 points and eight rebounds, including five offensive boards.
The Engineers then traveled up to Schenectady for a game against Union College. They started very well, jumping out to a 10-point lead six and a half minutes in. Union tried to fight back but only saw the Engineers extend their lead to 12 points with three minutes left. However, this time Unions fight back cut the deficit and the game took a break with the score 28–23 in favor of RPI. McKinley had 17 points and nine boards in the first half to lead the Engineers.
The second half started well for RPI as the team increased its lead to nine almost right away. However, Union fought back again and cut the deficit to two points with six and a half minutes remaining. RPI called a timeout and then never looked back. Free throws by senior Katie Hansan and sophomore Kelly Piotrowski gave the Engineers a five point lead to end the game. McKinley finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Wetmore had 10 points and five rebounds.
The Engineers are now 12-7 overall and 6-4 in the Liberty League. The team will be idle this week, and will play its next game on February 7 against Vassar on the road.