Senior guard Sydni Salvatore made all six of her 3-point attempts to lead the William Smith College basketball team to a 68-59 win at New York University in the finale of the NYU Holiday Classic. She matched her career-high with 22 points and earned All-Classic honors.
The Herons (6-3) were dialed in from long distance from the very start of the game. The Violets (6-4) held their only two leads of the game early in the first half and both times William Smith reclaimed the lead with 3-pointers. Megan Dawe opened the game’s scoring for NYU, but junior guard Erin O’Brien answered with a trey. A Dawe free throw tied the game, but Salvatore’s first triple put the visitors back in front. Dawe again made a jumper for a 9-8 Violets lead and Salvatore connected from behind the arc to put the Herons in the lead for good.
William Smith claimed its largest lead of the first half, 27-17, with six unanswered points. Salvatore started the mini-run with a 3-pointer and sophomore forward Molly Breen followed with a traditional 3-point play.
NYU closed the half on an 11-3 run with Dawe accounting for nine of those points. She earned a spot on the All-Classic team on the strength of her first career double-double (26 points, 15 rebounds). The Herons held a 30-28 lead at halftime.
William Smith restored its 10-point lead with a 12-4 run to start the second half, but the Violets fought back to close the gap to four, 44-40 with 14:06 remaining. The Herons pushed back with 10 unanswered points, including treys by Salvatore and junior guard Sasha Borenstein.
NYU made one more strong bid to retake the lead, using a 14-2 spurt to get within two with 4:25 remaining. William Smith quelled the threat with six straight points, including Salvatore’s final 3-pointer of the game which gave the Herons a 62-54 advantage.
A Dawe layup with 1:19 left made it a 3-point game, but William Smith closed out the win with the final six points of the contest.
Salvatore was 7-of-8 overall, including her six triples. Her long distance performance is the best by a Heron since Marisa Vespa was 7-of-7 from beyond the arc against Union on Feb. 22, 2008. Sophomore forward Chloe Hayter added 11 points and seven rebounds to join Salvatore on the All-Classic Team. Senior guard Jaimie Rubin also reached double digits in the scoring column, finishing with 10 points and a game-high five assists. Breen recorded eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
William Smith made 9-of-20 from long range and converted 13-of-18 from the free throw line, sinking five more freebies than the home team attempted.
Rachel Crittenden contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for NYU while Riley Wurtz registered eight points and a game-high 17 boards. Wurtz also earned All-Classic accolades. The Violets enjoyed a 50-38 advantage on the glass.
William Smith will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 4, when the Herons visit Rensselaer. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.