On Feb. 19, the Ithaca College women’s basketball team faced off against the Utica Pioneers in the Ben Light Gymnasium during the “Fill the Hill Whiteout Event.” The Bombers took the win with a final score of 71–44 and clinched a spot in the Empire 8 Conference Championship.
At the 9:33 mark of the first half, junior guard Ali Ricchiuti made the first basket of the game, changing the score to 2–0. Soon after, the Pioneers’ sophomore forward Alaina Tripp made the first shot for her team, making the score 2–2.
The Bombers have struggled defensively in the past, but exemplified major improvement, coming together as a team and in the first quarter to take the lead with a score of 17–10. Sophomore forward-guard Julie Yacovoni and freshman guard Allie Tunick led the team with eight points each in the first half, contributing to the Bombers’ 22-point lead heading into halftime.
Yacovoni said the Bombers came out ready to play.
“I think we came out strong, and we were able to play good defense, and that helped us lead into our offense,” she said.
At the beginning of the second half, Tripp made a layup with an assist from fellow teammate freshman guard Alayna Cormier for the Pioneers, changing the score to 36–16. Ricchiuti made the first shot of the third quarter for the Bombers with a 3-pointer, changing the score to 39–16.
At the end of the third quarter, the Bombers were still dominating the game with a score of 54–26.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Pioneers’ senior guard Mary Miceli made a 3-pointer with an assist from fellow teammate sophomore guard Ashleyne Babb, bringing the score up to 54–29. The Blue and Gold’s Tunick made a layup and with an assist from sophomore guard Allison Spaschak, bringing the Bombers’ score up to 56–29.
With five minutes left on the clock in the last quarter, the Bombers had a 23-point lead over the Pioneers. Junior forward Shayna Gaskins, freshman guard-forward Sara Jackson, freshman guard Meghan Mazzella and Yacovoni dominated the last few minutes of the game for the South Hill squad while the Pioneers’ Miceli and Tripp made shots. The Blue and Gold took the win with a score of 71–44.
Spaschak said overall the team had a solid game.
“I think we did a really good job getting it into the post and we got a lot of kick outs and had some three’s and all around everyone played really well,” she said.
The Bombers will face off next at 4 p.m. Feb. 20 in Ben Light Gymnasium against the Hartwick College Hawks.