Kohlasch nets career-high; Saints women's basketball comeback bid falls short in Liberty League opener
Senior Kaelyn Kohlasch scored a career-high 26 points and the Saints overcame a 23-point deficit in the second half, but Skidmore was able to hold on to a late lead to defeat the St. Lawrence University women's basketball team 63-60 in the Liberty League opener Friday night in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Kohlasch went 9-for-15 from the field and 8-for-13 from the 3-point arc leading the Saints, Marlee Gunn recorded nine points, while Jenny Scudder added eight. Cara Waterson picked off a team-high seven rebounds.After a slow start, the Saints picked up their first lead of the game off a layup from Waterson with about four minutes to play in the first quarter. The Thoroughbreds regained controlled and ended the first ten minutes with an 11-8 lead.
The Thoroughbreds raced out to another quick lead to start off the second quarter. Taylor Ong landed two free throws and Veronica Moceri shot from behind the arc to extend Skidmore's lead to 10 points. Gunn and Scudder recorded the only five points for the Saints in the second and Skidmore cruised to a 17-point lead by halftime.
Kohlasch knocked down a 3-pointer to kick off the third quarter. However, it wasn't long before Ari Fustini and Moceri recorded back-to-back 3-pointers for the Thoroughbreds. Kelly Donnelly then gave Skidmore a 43-21 lead with a jumper just outside the paint.
Kohlasch anchored the comeback for the Saints, hitting her sixth 3-pointer of the game to bring the Saints back to a single-digit margin with ten minutes to play in regulation. Gunn closed the gap to seven with the layup and Meghan O'Connor went 2-for-2 from the line to narrow Skidmore's lead to just five points.
With just over six minutes to play, Kohlasch then gave the Saints their first lead of the game since the first quarter, 49-48. Not giving up the lead for long, Donnelly's jump shot regained the lead for the Thoroughbreds.
In back-and-forth style, Scudder tied it up (52-52) with another three from the arc. As time wound down, first-year Katie Frederick cut Skidmore's lead to three but the Thoroughbreds were able to come away with the win.
"Great effort by our team tonight in the second half," said head coach Dan Roiger. "We buried ourselves too deep in the first half and played very tight and nervous which is often typical of a young team. We need to learn to play hard while relaxing. Despite the result tonight, I am really excited with the play of this team. We got better today and competed on the road against the defending league champions, who started four seniors and a junior. I'm very excited with our progress and potential."
Skidmore was led by Donnelly with 21 points, while Moceri added 19. Caite Opfer added a team-high seven rebounds, while Moceri and Haley English each snagged two steals for the Thoroughbreds.
With the loss, the Saints fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play, while Skidmore improved to 2-2 and 1-0.
St. Lawrence will travel to Rensselaer for their second game of the Liberty League opening weekend, Saturday, December 2nd. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.