The St. Lawrence University women's basketball team held off a second half push by Skidmore College to earn a 58-44 victory in the 2013 Liberty League Tournament semifinal game in the Burkman Gymnasium on Wednesday night. First-year student Amanda Roberts established a new single-season record for assists in the Saints' winning effort, breaking Meredith Eisenhut's mark of 132 that was set in the 2001-02 season.
"I thought we did a great job of executing our game plan tonight," said St. Lawrence Head Coach Dan Roiger. "It was a credit to our intensity and concentration. We played good defense, and when you do that, good things happen. Skidmore is a tough team. We finally found something that worked offensively against them, which got us the big lead at the end of the game."
St. Lawrence improves to 18-8 on the season and will host #4 William Smith in the Burkman Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 3:00 pm. Junior Kelly Legg and sophomore Kara McDuffee scored 16 and 12 points, respectively, and combined for 13 rebounds and six steals. Meanwhile, Roberts dished out seven assists and had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Skidmore, which concludes its season with a 12-14 record, was led by freshman Dani DeGregory, who came off the bench to score 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Sophomore Angela Botiba added seven points and six rebounds, while sophomore Molly McLaughlin and freshman Amber Holgate combined for 12 points for the Thoroughbreds.
In the opening half, St. Lawrence jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first 13:00 minutes of play and then cruised to a 27-15 lead at the intermission. The Saints' tough defense forced 14 first-half Thoroughbred turnovers and kept the visitors out of an offensive rhythm, allowing just five field goals on 15 shots in the first 20:00 minutes.
Skidmore, however, battled back from a 14-point deficit in the second half, cutting the Saints' lead to four points on three different occasions with the help of DeGregory's 15 second-half points. A layup by Molly Gile at 6:43 brought the visitors to within four points (40-36) for the third time before St. Lawrence used a 12-1 run over a 3:30 span to stretch its lead back into double figures and put the game out of reach for good.
St. Lawrence shot 37% from the floor (20-for-54) and was 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Skidmore shot 29.8% (14-47) and turned the ball over 21 times. Both teams posted identical numbers on the boards, grabbing 13 offensive and 22 defensive each.