POUGHKEEPSIE – Senior Cydni Matsuoka scored a team-high 20 points to help lead the Vassar College women’s basketball team to a 67-63 win over Union College on Senior Day in a Liberty League tussle from the Athletics and Fitness Center (AFC) Saturday.
The Brewers (18-4, 11-2 Liberty League) and Dutchwomen were tied at 13 in the first half, but Vassar slowly built its lead up to as much as 11 just before the half, capped by a traditional three-point play from sophomore Rose Serafini. Vassar took an eight-point lead into the break, thanks to 16 points from Matsuoka.
Union College (14-8, 6-7 LL) opened the second half on an 8-1 run to pull to within one, but Vassar never relented the lead, extending its advantage back up to seven after a layup by Serafini with 11:23 to play. Another run by the Dutchwomen trimmed VC’s lead back down to two on a pair of occasions, but once more a 10-2 run made the Brewer advantage 10 with 4:42 to play.
Showing some fight, the visiting Dutch scored eight straight over a 1:37 span to climb to within two at 59-57. After a timeout, Union forced the Brewers to use all of the 35 seconds on the shot clock, but Michelle Foreman nailed a triple as the buzzer sounded to push VC back up by five.
The game stayed close down the stretch, and Union made the contest a one-possession game with 13 seconds to play on a three from Amy Loya. After a turnover from Vassar, the Dutchwomen’s Natalie Leone got a look from three to tie the game, but it bounced off the back iron and VC sealed the game from the line.
Matsuoka finished with her team-leading point thanks to 7-of-17 shooting, making two of her five shots from downtown. Sophomore Caitlin Drakeley chalked up her third straight double-double of 15 points and career-high 14 rebounds, making nine of her 10 free throws on the day.
Senior Hannah Senftleber added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Brewers, who shot 37.9 percent (22-58) from the floor, making half of their eight shots from behind the three-point arc. Vassar was also deadly from the line, making all but two of its charity shots Saturday.
Loya chalked up a game-best 23 points for the Dutchwomen, and Kelsey McDonald and Cailin Schmeer each added 10 points apiece for UC. Union made 23 of its 63 shots from the floor Saturday, and connected on 14-of-20 from the free throw stripe. The Dutch were also out-rebounded by Vassar, 46-35, but won the turnover battle committing just eight giveaways compared to the 15 from VC.