In a battle for second place in the Liberty League, the William Smith College basketball team put three playters in double figures to slip past Skidmore College 64-61. The Herons improved to 9-8 overall, 5-3 in the conference, while the Thoroughbreds slip to 11-6, 4-4.
Skidmore galloped out to a 6-0 lead on a pair of 3-pointers by Jordyn Wartts, but William Smith rode some clutch shooting to take over the lead. The Herons connected on 42.5 percent of their shots in the first half, including 6-of-12 from beyond the 3-point arc, and made all four of their free throw attempts. William Smith led by as many as 12 in the first 20 minutes on the way to a 44-38 halftime lead.
Sophomore Liz Douglass led all scorers with 12 points at intermission. She finished the game with 14 points, seven rebounds, and four steals.
In the second half, the defenses seized control limiting shooters to a combined 15-of-66. A five minute scoring drought by the Herons midway through the half allowed the Thoroughbreds to briefly reclaim the lead 56-55. Sophomore Sasha Borenstein (8 pts, 4 rebs) sank a pair of free throws at the 7:27 mark to put the Herons back in front, this time for good. Douglass and first-year forward Chloe Hayter (8 pts, 4 rebs) followed with layups to give the visitors a 5-point lead with 4:44 remaining.
Skidmore missed a trey with eight seconds to go, but was fouled on the rebound. Jessie Kavana made the second freebie to make it a 63-61 game. The Thoroughbreds fouled on the inbound play to send junior guard Jaimie Rubin to the line. She made 1-of-2 to restore the 3-point lead and Skidmore triple try at the buzzer was off the mark.
Senior Kristen Kush paced the Herons with 15 points. Sophomore guard Jacqueline Murphy registered her sixth double-double on 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. William Smith enjoyed a 51-44 advantage on the glass and committed two fewer turnovers.
Christina Gargiso led Skidmore with 18 points and eight rebounds while Megan Gaugler added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Herons will be back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 31, when they host RIT. Tipoff in Bristol Gym is scheduled for 6 p.m.