Women’s basketball held two home games during the past week. On Tuesday, November 24, RPI women’s basketball hosted The Sage Colleges in a neighbor college showdown. In the first half, the Engineers separated themselves from the Gators, taking a 12-point lead at the half. Then, in the second half the Engineers held their ground, answering every Gator rally with one of their own. The final score was Rensselaer 76, Sage 62.
After the Gators closed the gap to 50-46 with 9:30 remaining, the Engineers’ defense took over, forcing several turnovers and long, low-percentage shots from Sage. Junior forward Kristen Van Gilst made two big shots to put RPI back up by eight. Then buckets by sophomore guard Jackie Sortor and junior guard Ellen Boucher expanded the lead to thirteen. Still the game hung in the balance. The Engineers turned to junior guard Ashley Clough, who scored the next nine points in a row to help finish off the Gators.
The Engineers were led to their 14-point victory by Clough, who poured in a game-high 22 points, 16 of which came in the second half, and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior forward Amanda Lynch recorded her second double-double of the season, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds.
For the Gators, junior forward Sara Tironi scored 16 points and added four rebounds. Senior guard Megan Bowman keyed the Sage offensive attack though, recording eight assists to go along with 13 points and six rebounds.
Then, on Tuesday, December 2, RPI hosted Keene State for a non-league matchup. In the first half, defense set the tone as both teams shot less than 30 percent from the field in the first half. 3-pointers by Boucher and senior guard Courtney Reynolds allowed the Engineers to take a 27-24 lead at the break.
In the second half, both teams took better advantage of their scoring opportunities. While RPI was a step ahead of the Owls in the first half, Keene State took over in the final 20 minutes. The Engineers struggled handling the ball, turning it over 11 times in the half. Keene State out-rebounded Rensselaer 24-17. With eight minutes remaining, forward Courtney Roberts scored to put the Owls by one. Despite a valiant effort from the home team, Keene held on and won by a final score of 61-57. Guard Stephanie D’ Annolfo recorded 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and eight steals to lead the Owls to victory. For the Engineers, Lynch led all scorers with 17 points. Clough and Boucher each tallied 10.
With the win, Keene State improves to 4-2 while RPI falls to 3-4 in defeat. The Engineers will be idle until December 29 and 30 when they will play two games at the Westfield State Holiday Tournament in Massachusetts.