In what has been a trying season for the women’s basketball team, the Blue and Gold turned things around this week by winning three out of their four games. The Bombers dropped their first game of the new year against Stevens Institute of Technology, but quickly turned things around with consecutive victories against Nazareth College, Houghton College and Alfred University. The team improved to 6–6 on the season and is 3–1 in Empire 8 Conference matchups.
After a nearly three-week break, the South Hill squad returned home Jan. 3 to face Stevens in its first Empire 8 contest of the year. The Bombers only shot approximately 35 percent throughout the month of December, and that trend continued against Stevens as they managed to hit only approximately 36 percent of their field goal attempts. The team was no better from 3-point range, shooting a dismal 17 percent of its attempts, approximately.
As a result of the poor shooting, the Bombers got off to a slow start and fell behind 42–29 at the half. A main reason for the early deficit was due in large part to a whopping 10 turnovers. Not all was bad for the Blue and Gold, however, as junior Erin Ferguson proved to be a bright spot for the team. The forward finished with a team-high 19 points on a perfect 8–8 shooting from the field.
Junior guard Ali Ricchiuti was the only other player in double figures, as she finished with 10 points to go along with seven rebounds. Sophomore Allison Spaschak also played well in limited minutes, scoring five points with one 3-pointer.
Stevens saw four of its players hit double figures, led by senior guard Miranda Ripken who scored 20 points.
While the Bombers struggled to shoot consistently, the team looked willing to share the basketball as it totaled a solid 14 assists. However, it also finished with 18 turnovers.
The South Hill squad saw its fortune change Jan. 5 against Nazareth, as the team picked up a 72–48 victory in dominating fashion.
After a string of poor shooting performances, the Bombers managed to hit approximately 45 percent of their field goals and approximately 42 percent from 3-point range. Most of the success was due to the starters, as four of the five scored in double figures.
Senior guard Keri Steele and sophomore Jordan Beers each scored 17 points while combining for eight 3-pointers. Both players managed to pull down six rebounds and dish out two assists as well.
Nazareth saw three of its starters score in double figures, led by senior guard Sam Sorge who tallied 20 points.
The Bombers strong play continued Jan. 8 against Houghton, as they defeated the Highlanders 72–42. The team never trailed throughout the game, due in large part to another strong shooting performance. The Bombers hit approximately 46 percent of their 3-pointers and went perfect from the free-throw line, a feat the team had not yet reached this season.
Freshman guard Allie Tunick had her best game of the season, scoring 15 points while hitting three out of five 3-point attempts and grabbing four rebounds. Beers and Ricchiuti turned in solid performances for the Blue and Gold, scoring 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Spaschak again played well in limited minutes, finishing with six points and made two 3-pointers. Junior forward Shayna Gaskins finished with a team-high seven rebounds.
The entirety of Houghton’s roster struggled, as no player, other than forward Maisie Pipher, who tallied 17 points, finished with more than seven points.
Facing off against the 1–11 Alfred Saxons on Jan. 9, the Bombers’ hot streak continued with relative ease. The Blue and Gold received contributions from a number of different players, eventually leading to an impressive 83–64 victory.
Steele and Beers led the way with 17 and 14 points, respectively, while Beers also notched five rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard/forward Sara Jackson played a solid all-around game for the South Hill squad by scoring a career-high six points and collecting one rebound and one assist in just nine minutes.
Junior guard Kiera Murray managed a balanced stat line of three points, two rebounds and one assist while hitting one 3-pointer in 14 minutes. Gaskins again led the team in rebounds, finishing with a season-high nine while also contributing six points.
Despite dropping their third straight game, the Saxons saw four of their starters score in double figures. McKaylee Croll finished with a team-high 19 points while Taylor Kelley scored a career-high 14 points to go along with seven rebounds.
The Bombers will look to pick up their fourth straight win on Jan. 12 at home when they battle Elmira College at 8 p.m. at Ben Light Gymnasium before they begin a six-game road trip.