Saints' women's basketball falls to Herons, will host Skidmore in conference semifinals
The St. Lawrence University women's basketball team dropped its 2012-13 regular season finale on Saturday afternoon in Geneva, NY, as William Smith College held on for a 72-70 victory. Junior Kelly Legg's 22 points led all scorers and brought the Fairport, NY native over 1,000 points in her career at St. Lawrence, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Herons' hot shooting.
The victory clinches the No. 4 seed in the Liberty League Tournament for William Smith (16-9, 10-6), as they will travel to the top-seeded Brewers of Vassar College for a semifinal game on Wednesday. The Saints, now 17-8 (11-5), are the No. 2 seed thanks to an RPI win over Skidmore, setting up a match-up between the two teams on Wednesday for a shot at the conference title and the NCAA bid.Legg finished with 22 points and five rebounds, while Kara McDuffee added 18 points, five boards and three steals. However, the Herons answered with Sydni Salvatore, Chloe Hayter and Erin O'Brien, who combined for 49 points as the home team shot 52% from the field en route to the win.
William Smith had the advantage throughout much of the first half, growing a nine point lead at 13-4 on a jumper by Jaimie Rubin. St. Lawrence would chip away at the cushion and took its first lead of the game with 5:32 left in the opening half on a three pointer by Legg. The two teams went back-and-forth to close the half, but Sasha Borenstein's lay-in with 15 seconds left would cap the first half scoring with William Smith back on top by one, 33-32.
It was the Scarlet and Brown that came out of the intermission on fire, opening with a 12-4 run to take a 44-37 lead early in the second. However, the Herons responded with a three pointer from O'Brien before Borenstein knocked down two of her own to swing the momentum back in the home team's favor up four, 48-44 at the midway point.
William Smith would see its lead swell to as many as 10, but a three pointer by McDuffee with 3:34 left kept the Saints in the game down only six. Though the Saints would get as close as two, down 64-62, O'Brien and Rubin added several free throws to keep the Herons ahead by six, 72-66, with 21 seconds remaining.
Cassie St. Hilaire would draw the visitors within three with :07 seconds to go, and the Saints would have a chance in the final possession thanks to a pair of missed free throws. However, a foul by Jacqueline Murphy would send St. Lawrence's Allison Cady to the free throw line for two, and though she made the first and missed the second intentionally, Murphy grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock to secure the 72-70 win for the Herons.
Legg becomes the 12th player in St. Lawrence women's basketball history to record 1,000 career points. Hannah Wilson added 12 points for the visitors, while St. Hilaire closed with eight points and a team-high six rebounds.
St. Lawrence will host Skidmore College on Wednesday, February 20 at the Burkman Gymnasium, with the tip-off time yet to be determined.