ROCHESTER – Falling behind by nine points at halftime did not faze the Vassar College women’s basketball team, which kept its composure in a see-saw final 10 minutes, to defeat Nazareth College 69-62 in the 2nd Annual Onnie’s Classic on Sunday afternoon at Kindera Gymnasium.
Nazareth held a 62-59 lead with 4:32 remaining and nursed a precarious 62-61 lead with 3:45 to play. Then, two Vassar jumpers changed the game’s outcome. The first, a left corner jumper from sophomore Delaney Fisher at 3:05 gave Vassar a 63-62 lead. The second, a right side corner step-back jumper from junior Cydni Matsuoka with 1:14 to play, upped the margin to 65-62. Nazareth was held scoreless for the final 4:32 and Vassar got two free throws each from sophomore Nyah Berg and freshman Caitlin Drakeley to ice the contest.
Vassar improves to 2-0 on the season and will play its home opener against Wesleyan University on Tuesday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. Nazareth drops to 1-2 and will meet St. John Fisher in the Wendy’s Classic on November 27, 2012.
Nazareth got 11 points from freshman center Lindsey Kelly and 10 from senior gurad Erica Shaw – and shot 50 percent from the field in the first half – to build a 38-29 halftime lead.
The first five minutes of the second half saw the Brewers storm back to tie the game 40-40, with Matsuoka and sophomore forward Colleen O’Connell doing the bulk of the scoring. There were five subsequent ties from that point. Kelly and Shaw carried the Golden Flyers offensively.
Nazareth regained its lead, 62-59 at the 4:32 mark after Maria Allocco converted an old-fashioned three-point play after being fouled following a slashing layup. A layup from the right side by junior Hannah Senftleber cut the margin to 62-61 with 3:45 to play. Forty seconds later Delaney hit the subsequent game-winning jumper as Nazareth missed its final five shots, all 3-point attempts.
For Vassar, Matsuoka had a game-high 24 points. O’Connell had 12 points and seven rebounds and Drakeley had 10 points and five assists.
Nazareth’s strong one-two combination of Kelly and Shaw had 19 and 16 points respectively. Allocco had a game-high 11 rebounds.