The William Smith College basketball team held visiting Rochester Institute of Technology scoreless for over a seven-minute span in the second half while scoring 17 straight points on the way to a 63-42 Liberty League win on January 8. The Herons improved to 8-4 overall, 2-2 in the league, while the Tigers slip to 3-7, 0-2.
William Smith scored the first five points of the second half on a traditional 3-point play by junior guard Erin O’Brien and a layup by sophomore forward Chloe Hayter to build an 11-point lead. An 11-3 run by the Tigers closed the gap to just 35-33 by the 13:50 mark.
By 8:46, the Herons held a slim 44-39 lead, but RIT would not score another point until just 68 seconds remained in the contest. Five William Smith players scored a combined 17 points during the Tigers’ drought, including five from sophomore forward Molly Breen and four from sophomore guard Ali Pliszka.
William Smith shot 39 percent for the game and converted 70 percent of its free throws while limiting RIT to 30.4 percent shooting and 50 percent from the line. The Herons outrebounded their guests 42-40 and finished the game plus five in turnover margin (15-20).
In the first half, O’Brien scored the game’s opening bucket, but the Tigers countered with jumpers by Courtney Tennant and Jess Kramer to take their only lead of the contest, 4-2. Senior guard Sydni Salvatore put William Smith back in front for good with a 3-pointer at the 15:51 mark. The Herons built their largest lead of the opening 20 minutes, 23-11, with a 13-2 run.
RIT clawed its way back into the game by finishing the half on a 9-3 to go into the break down 28-22.
O’Brien led all scorers with 15 points and added a game-high four assists. Hayter chipped in 14 points and six boards. Despite foul trouble, junior guard Jacqueline Murphy managed six points, six rebounds, and a game-high five steals. Breen corralled a game-high seven boards to go with five points. All 12 Herons played in the contest with 10 putting points on the board.
RIT got a team-high nine points and seven rebounds from Leslie Havens. Tennant tallied eight points and seven boards.
William Smith will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 12 when the Herons visit Ithaca for a non-conference contest at 2 p.m. The Tigers will continue league play on Friday, Jan. 11, when they visit Rensselaer at 6 p.m.