Junior Kristen Kush and first-year Sasha Borenstein scored 22 and 21 points, respectively to lead the William Smith basketball team to an 84-73 win over visiting Vassar in a Liberty League game this afternoon in Bristol Gym. With the win, the Herons earned a share of the Liberty League regular season championship.
Seniors, Ashlinn Barber, Mollie Danahy, and Colleen Lukas, celebrated their final home game earning their second regular season league title. They earned their first in their first year as Herons. William Smith (15-10, 10-4) will be the No. 2 seed in the Liberty League Tournament, and will play against Union on Feb. 25 at top-seeded St. Lawrence.
Kush was 9-of-13 from the floor, 4-of-5 from the free throw line, and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Borenstein made 7-of-12 field goal attempts, including 6-of-9 from the 3-point arc to register a new career-high in points. Danahy also reached double figures scoring 19 points, dishing out a game-high six assists, and bringing down seven boards on senior day. First-year Erin O’Brien chipped in eight points, two assists, and three steals, while classmate Jacqueline Murphy collected eight rebounds, scored five points, and had two steals.
The Herons shot 46.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc. William Smith made 16-of-23 attempts from the charity stripe. Vassar (14-11, 8-6) shot 37.5 percent from the field and 61.1 percent from the three. The Brewers were a perfect 14-14 from the free throw line. The Herons held a 41-37 edge on the glass.
Brittany Parks scored a game-high 27 points, grabbed seven boards, and handed out four assists to lead the Brewers. Parks was 10-10 from the free throw line. Cydni Matsuoka was right behind her logging 26 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Hannah Senftleber and Carolyn Crampton each added eight points.
Kush made the first basket of the game, and then the Brewers went on an 11-2 run that included 3-pointers by Parks and Matsuoka. Kush hit a jumper to tie up the game at 11, and Danahy broke through the Vassar defense for a layup that gave the lead back to William Smith with 11:25 left in the first half. The Herons then took control of the game, and never looked back heading into the break with a 43-26 lead.
William Smith stretched its lead to as many as 22 on a jumper by Kush at 17:28 in the second half. The Brewers cut their deficit to 13 four different times in the second half, but that was as close as they could get before their final basket of the game, a 3-pointer by Matsuoka, with 29 seconds remaining, which ended the game with the Herons on top by 11.