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Women’s basketball flies past Yellowjackets

From+left%2C+Yellowjackets+senior+guard+Kat+Jenks+retreats+into+defensive+position+as+Bombers+first-year+guard+Tori+Drevna+drives+left+into+the+lane.
Rayahna Tryka
From left, Yellowjackets senior guard Kat Jenks retreats into defensive position as Bombers first-year guard Tori Drevna drives left into the lane.

The Ithaca College women’s basketball team fought its way past the University of Rochester Yellowjackets in a 62–54 battle Dec. 6 en route to their sixth win of the season. 

The Bombers, fresh off of an extended five-game road stretch, entered the game riding the momentum of its victory at Bard College on Dec. 2. Meanwhile, the Yellowjackets were looking to get back on track after losing to SUNY Brockport last week.

The first quarter got off to a slow start, with both teams feeling each other out in the opening minutes. About halfway through the first quarter, the Bombers had an offensive explosion, putting up 15 points in the last five minutes of the quarter, capped by a slick stepback jumper from graduate student guard June Dickson with seconds remaining on the clock.

The second quarter looked to be a continuation of the Bombers’ dominance, but the Yellowjackets suddenly hit the gas pedal, cutting an 18-point deficit down to 10 in the span of less than three minutes. As the tempo swung, so did the momentum, as the Yellowjackets forced multiple turnovers to give themselves multiple chances in transition. 

The Yellowjackets picked up right where they left off to start the second half, but the Bombers started to adapt to the pace. Fixing the Bombers’ turnover issues helped to slow a Yellowjackets squad that clawed its way closer as the game went on, with the South Hill squad protecting a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter. 

The fourth quarter saw both teams trade buckets in what would be the highest-scoring quarter of the game. Every possession saw a ferocious battle in the paint, as both the Bombers and the Yellowjackets were having trouble from the arc all game. Both teams combined for only five three pointers made during the game to go along, with neither team eclipsing 17% from behind the arc. Eventually, the Bombers held strong enough to keep their eight-point lead when the clock struck zero. 

On a night that saw a below average shooting performance, the Bombers went to work in the interior. Head coach Dan Raymond said he was pleased with the aggression down low from his squad. 

“We’ve tried to figure out our identity,” Raymond said. “What can we do offensively that takes advantage of our strengths? Because we have [junior forward] Anya [Watkins] and [junior forward] Annabella [Yorio] who are very strong in the post, we feel like we’re pretty balanced, so we want to make sure we’re opened up so that we have opportunities to get the ball inside for our post players and also drive and get inside to kick it out. We always want to play inside out.” 

Raymond said he was also pleased with how the Bombers adapted to the elevation of pace midway through the game. 

“I was pleased with our players that contributed off the bench,” Raymond said. “[The bench] allowed our scorers to get some time off the court and get rest so that we were able to sustain in the second half and hold off Rochester … they’re a good team.”

This victory marks the final non-conference home game for the Bombers this season. Dickson, who led the Bombers with 15 points while also recording a pair of steals, said she is ready to make a run in the Liberty League. 

“We really want to win this conference championship so that we get a good seed for the NCAA’s and then we’re off to the races,” Dickson said. “We’re really excited, but we’re focused on the next win, which is New Paltz this Saturday.”

The Bombers will next travel to SUNY New Paltz for its last game before the holiday break at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 in New Paltz, New York.

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Rayahna Tryka, Photographer
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