With a guard-heavy lineup, the William Smith basketball team relies on an up tempo offense and a high-pressure defense. The Herons opened Liberty League play tonight against a Hamilton squad that had just eight healthy players.
From the start of the contest, William Smith harassed the Continentals the entire length of the floor on the way to a 74-52 victory. The Herons forced Hamilton into 32 turnovers, including three shot clock violations, and outscored their guests 35-10 in points off turnovers.
Junior forward Kristen Kush led the way with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Mollie Danahy added 15 points and a game-high seven steals, vaulting up two spots to No. 6 on the career steals list with 239 (tied with Kim Dennin ’99). Sophomore guard Sydni Salvatore enjoyed a spectacular all-around performance, recording 15 points, six assists, five rebounds, and four steals.
The Continentals were led by the 12-point efforts of sophomore forward Claire Hunsinger and sophomore guard Madie Harlem. Hunsinger also collected a game-high nine rebounds.
William Smith (6-6, 1-0) scored the first nine points of the night and built a 12-point lead less than seven minutes into the contest. The Herons converted four of their first six shots, while Hamilton committed turnovers on five of its first six possessions. The hot start fueled William Smith all the way to a 47-26 halftime lead.
In the first half, the Herons shot 56.3 percent from the floor, including 6-of-9 on 3-pointers, while Hamilton (5-3, 0-1) connected on 40 percent from the floor. William Smith held a 24-4 edge in points off turnovers at the break.
After the intermission, the Continentals couldn’t undo the damage done in the first half, trailing by at least 16 and as many as 24 down the stretch.
The Herons will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 14, when they host Skidmore at 6 p.m. The Continentals will play at the same time, returning to Clinton for a conference contest against Union.