The William Smith College basketball team made all 12 of its free throw attempts and harassed the College at Brockport into 28 turnovers, including 17 steals, as the Herons defeated the Golden Eagles 58-56 in the third place game of the 20th annual Wendy’s College Classic played at the Louis Alexander Palestra in Rochester, N.Y.
William Smith tied the Wendy’s game record for free throw shooting with a 12-for-12 performance at the line. It’s the best free throw shooting night by the Herons since making all 15 freebies against Hartwick on Jan. 8, 1993. William Smith’s 17 steals are the most by the team since recording 22 against Hamilton on Jan. 10, 2011.
The Herons (3-2) led by as many as 11 in the second half following a 3-pointer by senior guard Sydni Salvatore at the 8:50 mark and enjoyed a 7-point lead after junior guard Sasha Borenstein’s 3-pointer at 6:32, but Ellen Story scored five unanswered points for Brockport (3-4) and Bree Fortney added a layup to forge the game’s only tie, 47-all with 4:53 remaining.
The Herons struck back with a remarkably similar surge. Junior guard Erin O’Brien scored five straight points followed by a Salvatore layup that restored the Herons’ 7-point advantage.
The Eagles cut the lead to three with 41 seconds remaining, but Salvatore and senior guard Jaimie Rubin closed out the win at the charity stripe with four straight makes.
Brockport’s Alexandra Marshall made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to provide the final scoring margin.
William Smith, which never trailed in the contest, led by as many as 11 in the first half. The Herons carried a 29-25 lead into the break.
William Smith shot just 33.8 percent from the floor, including 2-of-16 from deep. The Golden Eagles made 41.8 percent from the field (3-of-10 3FGs) and were 7-of-9 at the line. Brockport enjoyed a 44-32 advantage on the glass, but finished minus-12 in turnover margin.
Sophomore forward Chloe Hayter led the Herons in scoring with 15 points, including a game-high 11 before halftime, and added six boards. She was named to the All-Classic first team. Salvatore notched 13 points and three steals and O’Brien added 11 points and a game-high six steals. Junior guard Jacqueline Murphy contributed a team-high nine rebounds and three steals.
Brockport’s Cecilia Sigrist led all scorers with 18 points. She also grabbed nine rebounds. Story finished the game with 15 points and all three of her team’s steals. Hannalee Fordyce collected a game-high 12 rebounds .
William Smith will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 8, when the Herons host Union College in their Liberty League opener. The opening tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.