MONTCLAIR, NJ – The Vassar College women’s basketball team jumped out to an early 10 point first half lead, and kept its foot on the gas pedal, registering a start-to-finish 66-53 victory over Washington (Md.) College in the Third Place game at the Montclair State University Holiday Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Panzer Athletic Center.
Vassar relied heavily on their guards, getting 52 of their 66 points from the backcourt. Junior Cydni Matsuoka, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, and sophomore Nyah Berg led the way, scoring 19 points and 16 points respectively. Freshman Caitlin Drakeley added nine points on 50 percent shooting.
The victory moves Vassar to 7-1. Washington College drops to 6-5. The Brewers will next begin Liberty League play with a road contest against Bard College on January 8th at 6:00 p.m. Washington College travels to Gettysburg on January 5th for a contest.
Less than seven minutes in, a jumper by sophomore forward Colleen O’Connell gave the Brewers a 16-6 lead, and Vassar put the Shorewomen in their rearview mirror from that point on, cruising into halftime with a 32-24 lead. The closest Washington College came to challenging the Brewers was in the first minute of a second half when a layup by junior forward Latisha Pledger cut the margin to 32-26. Pledger led her team with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Over the next five minutes, the Brewers built a 44-31 lead after Matsuoka drained a 3-pointer, and a Berg layup with 14:20 to play extended the lead to 46-31. A Matsuoka jumper at the midway point of the second half pushed Vassar into a 50-33 lead. The guard play continued in earnest as a layup by sophomore Allyson Pemberton led to a 53-35 Vassar advantage. Another jumper by Matsuoka at the 6:06 mark put the game away, 59-37.