Tigers, Herons challenge Engineers and win

Despite holding leads in both of their away games over the weekend, women’s basketball ultimately fell short of victory to both the Rochester Institute of Technology Herons and the William Smith College Tigers by a combined seven points. In the first game, despite RPI shooting 46 percent from the field compared to a mediocre 34 percent for RIT, the game was decided at the free throw line. While RIT attempted 42 free throws, making 28, RPI earned just 11, scoring on eight of them. In the second game of the trip, the Engineers struggled on the glass, collecting 18 defensive rebounds and allowing the Herons to nab 15 offensive rebounds. This resulted in four more second chance points for the Herons as well as an advantage in free throw attempts. The final scores were RIT 68, RPI 64 and William Smith 61, RPI 58.

Freshman Sam Krumbhaar converted her first three field goal attempts and later scored off of a steal to give the Engineers an 11-6 lead. But Tigers forward Tara Lynch scored five points and guard Maria Edwards added a three-pointer to give the home team a 19-15 lead after one quarter.

The Tigers extended their lead in the second quarter as the Engineers missed shots and turned the ball over. After Krumbhaar scored early in the quarter assisted by sophomore forward Shaina Iton to trim the RIT lead to 2, Rensselaer didn’t score again for five minutes, allowing the Tigers to increase their advantage to 10 points. Then, a tip-in by forward Amanda Olsen and a triple by guard Taylor Burns pushed the home team’s lead to 15 shortly before halftime. At the break, Krumbhaar had 15 points, but the Engineers trailed 25-36.

In the third quarter, the Engineers fought their way back into the game. A driving basket by senior guard Bailei Tetrault cut the Tigers’ lead to 40-37 midway through the third quarter. Momentum switched again, however, when RIT scored six points on free throws in the final two minutes of the quarter and added a driving layup with one second remaining.

RPI battled back again in the fourth, and a layup by sophomore guard Kate Goodell made the score 54-51 RIT with 4:25 left in the final quarter. The game would get no closer though, as the Engineers offense failed to take advantage of RIT’s missed free throws, allowing the Tigers to come out on top, 68-64. Krumbhaar finished with 26 points to lead all scorers, while freshman forward LaKissa Martin had ten points. Sophomore forward Shaina Iton led the Engineers with eight rebounds.

In game two of the trip, forward Kendra Quinn-Moultrie scored 19 points to lead the Herons, while Krumbhaar scored 14 for the Engineers. Iton grabbed six boards and blocked three shots, and Tetrault tallied six assists. William Smith forward Gabrielle Eure recorded the lone double-double of the game, scoring 12 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.

Just as they did the previous game, the Engineers took the lead early, sprinting to a 15-9 lead late in the first quarter. But William Smith scored seven unanswered points to take the lead, capping the run with a basket and free throw by Eure.

The teams traded baskets in the second quarter, with senior guard Ellen Boucher scoring a layup to make the score 28-26 William Smith before halftime.

The game remained close in the third quarter. Eure got another basket and a free throw late in the third quarter to make the score 44-38 Herons, but senior guard Ashley Clough answered by burying a three-pointer to end the quarter.

In the fourth, the Engineers took a 45-44 lead on a put-back layup by Krumbhaar. Later, Martin drilled a three-pointer to make the score 55-54 William Smith. After the Herons scored two baskets in a row, Iton hit two big shots to put Rensselaer back within one again, 59-58. But those would be the final points RPI scored, as they fell three points short in Geneva.

Up next for the 5-13 Engineers is a road trip north to face Liberty League rivals Clarkson and St. Lawrence.