The William Smith College basketball team will wrap up the regular season in Bristol Gym on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19. One of four teams tied for the top spot in the Liberty League, the Herons will host fellow front-runner Rensselaer at 6 p.m., on Feb. 18, and close out the regular season the following afternoon against Vassar at 2 p.m.
William Smith (14-7, 9-3) is tied for the conference lead with Rensselaer (12-10), St. Lawrence (13-8), and Union (16-6). One win this weekend secures a spot in the four-team Liberty League Championship Tournament. A weekend sweep will give the Herons the right to host the fray, scheduled for Feb. 25-26.
A smothering defensive squad, the Herons are allowing just 47.7 ppg in their 14 victories. First-year guard Marisa Vespa (Immaculate Heart/Watertown, N.Y.) leads William Smith in scoring, tossing in 11.1 ppg. She is one of the top playmakers in the nation, leading the Liberty League at 5.3 assists per game.
The Herons lost their first meeting with the Red Hawks 77-68 in Troy on Jan. 29. Rensselaer’s point total is the most scored by a William Smith opponent this season. The Herons shot a season-high 51 percent from the floor (26-51), but committed 25 turnovers while recording a season-low two steals.
Against the Brewers (6-16, 2-10), William Smith will look to complete a season sweep, following a 58-48 win in Poughkeepsie on Jan. 28. Prior to the start of the game, the Herons will honor seniors Tara Brisson (Bishop Grimes/Liverpool, N.Y.) and Ivy Parker (Corcoran/Syracuse, N.Y.).
WEOS-FM (89.7/90.3) will broadcast both games live. Additional coverage, including live real-time statistics and streaming audio, can be accessed online at: www.hws.edu/herons/basketball/schedule.asp.
During half-time of the Feb. 18 game, the Colleges step team, the Hip-notiqs Step Team, will perform along with step teams from the Geneva Housing Authority.