After the Engineers stumbled in the second half and lost against Vassar on Friday, they returned home on Sunday for their final game of the season against last-place Bard College.
RPI started the game with a 13-2 run, which included two 3-pointers from senior guard Courtney Reynolds and another from senior guard Bailei Tetrault. Later, a pull-up jumper by senior guard Amanda Lynch gave Rensselaer a 17-5 lead. Another Tetrault triple put the Engineers on top 24-7.
In the first half, the Rensselaer defense stifled the Raptors, holding them to just nine points on three of 26 shooting. In addition, RPI forced 13 Bard turnovers with two steals each by senior guard Michelle Reid and junior guard Ashley Clough.
In the second half, Bard fought back, trimming the lead to eight with 5:22 remaining. Then, four free throws by Tetrault expanded this lead to 12. Later, Lynch went on one of her patented drives to the rim and scored to give the Engineers a 44-34 lead with 3:38 to play. Then, she drilled two free throws with 1:21 left to put the game away.
With 21 seconds left, Reynolds scored the last points of her RPI career by knocking down her third 3-pointer of the day and the Engineers went on to win by a final margin of 50-36.
RPI outrebounded their conference foes by a final tally of 47-42, including 11 for Lynch to go along with her game-high 15 points. Meanwhile, Reynolds and Tetrault also scored in double figures, combining for 21 points. Reid, for her part, led the team in assists and steals with three each.
The Engineers ended the season with an overall record of 14-11 and a Liberty League record of 10-6. By winning 14 games, RPI doubled its total from last season and improved from seventh to fifth in the Liberty League final standings.
Yesterday, Lynch was named to the National Academic All-American Division III first team. She is the first women’s basketball player in school history to earn the honor. This season, she led the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds