Sophomore forward Chloe Hayter scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the William Smith College basketball team to a 79-74 victory over Roberts Wesleyan College in the first round of the Wendy’s College Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The Herons (2-1) controlled the glass against the taller Redhawks (3-2), enjoying a 51-40 rebounding advantage. William Smith also made twice as many shots from the free throw line (16-8) and more than doubled up the visitors on 3-pointers made (9-4).
Hayter was 9-of-19 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line, including 4-for-4 in the final minute. Senior guard Sydni Salvatore produced a strong all-around effort, scoring 18 points, seven rebounds, a team-high six assists, and a game-high four steals. She was 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. Junior guard Sasha Borenstein was also 4-of-9 from long range, finishing with 14 points.
Roberts Wesleyan had four players hit double figures led by senior forward Brittany Williams’ 17 points. First-year forward Samantha Courtney added 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Sophomore forward Carneisha Henry netted 13 points and collected a team-high eight rebounds. Senior guard Sarah Alwardt contributed 10 points off the bench.
Roberts scored the first six points of the game and led 8-3 before William Smith went on a tear. A 15-2 run put the Herons in front 18-10. O’Brien and Borenstein capped the surge with back-to-back 3-pointers.
A 10-2 run by the Redhawks put them back in front 24-23 with 3:06 left in the opening half, but Borenstein drained a triple and Hayter made the last bucket of the half to give William Smith a 30-28 lead at the break.
Hayter hit her stride in the final 20 minutes, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight caroms. William Smith led for much of the stanza and never trailed by more than two. The Herons clung to a one-point lead with 4:34 to go, but a 9-2 push for the home team made it an eight-point lead. Hayter netted seven of the nine William Smith points.
Roberts Wesleyan made one last bid for the lead, closing to within two, 74-72 on a traditional 3-point play by Marrisa Sell with 31 seconds left. Hayter closed out the win with her four makes from the charity stripe.
William Smith will face Geneseo, a 75-50 winner over Nazareth, in the semifinals of the Wendy’s Classic at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the University of Rochester.