POUGHKEEPSIE – Led by a career-high 16 points from sophomore guard Nyah Berg, the Vassar College women’s basketball shook off a scrappy Berkeley (NY) College team and pulled away to a 72-55 victory Saturday at the Athletics & Fitness Center.
A short-handed Berkeley team kept itself in the game, particularly in the first half, and trailed 32-25 at intermission. The Brewers took advantage of Berkeley having just one bench player at its disposal. The Vassar reserves scored 17 of 40-second half points to help secure the victory in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
The victory improves Vassar to 6-0 on the season. Berkeley drops to 3-3. The Brewers will next play Widener University at the Montclair University Holiday Tournament on Saturday, December 29th. Berkeley will next face the College of New Rochelle.
The Knights kept within nine points the entire first half and were within three points, 28-25, with 1:25 to play. Vassar closed out the first half with four straight points and used its deep bench to wear down the Knights in the second half.
Vassar opened a 38-28 lead following a layup by freshman Alex Moon at the 17:10 mark of the second half. Led by 11-second half points from junior guard Cydni Matsuoka, the Brewers then went on a 10-0 run to push their lead to 48-28 with 11:17 remaining.
The Brewers forced 11 second half Berkeley turnovers, resulting in 14 points and got five second half points from senior guard Ali Higgins to methodically pull away from the Knights. A Hannah Senftleber layup put Vassar ahead 70-50 with 1:19 to play.
After a slow start, Matsuoka came on strong in the second half and tallied a team high 18 points and had six assists. Berg earned six of her 16 points from the free throw line. Berg’s previous high was 13 points against Clarkson last January 28. In limited playing time Senftleber had 8 points and 7 rebounds. Higgins also had eight points, two off tying her career best.
Berkeley stayed competitive in large part to the play of junior forward Milan Germany, who scored a game-high 29 points and had nine rebounds.