The Ithaca College women’s basketball team fell to Stevens Institute of Technology 70–44 in the Empire 8 Championship game Feb. 27. The loss makes this the Bombers’ final game of the season with a 16–11 record.
The Blue and Gold spent most of the game behind, with their last lead coming with seven minutes and 40 seconds left in the first quarter when they were up 7–6 off of a jump shot by junior guard Ali Ricchiuti. After that, the Ducks took the lead and never looked back, going on a run to end the first quarter leading 20–10.
The South Hill squad had a better showing in the second quarter, as it was only outscored 14–12 to take a 12 point deficit into halftime. The Bombers did not shoot well from anywhere on the floor, only shooting 32 percent from the field and only 50 percent from the free throw line in the first half.
Stevens shot 44.4 percent from the floor. The Ducks also dominated the backboards in the first half, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds while the Bombers were only able to grab 10 defensive rebounds.
The game only got worse for the Bombers as they were outscored 18–11 in both the third and fourth quarters to cap off the 70–44 loss. The Blue and Gold only hit 28 percent of their shots in the second half and only made one 3-pointer in 11 attempts from behind the arc.
Two big problems for the Bombers the entire game were protecting the ball and protecting the rim. The team had 20 turnovers in the game, which the Ducks turned into 11 points, and allowed 30 points in the paint.
Every player on the roster saw minutes in the blowout for the Blue and Gold. In her final game, senior guard Keri Steele was one of the Bombers’ leading scorers along with sophomore forward Julie Yacovoni with 10 points each. Steele was also the team’s leading rebounder with seven boards.
The Ducks were led by senior guard Kaitlyn Astel who dropped 21 points in the victory. Junior guard Erica Guketlov and sophomore guard Megan Brown also scored in double figures for Stevens, as Guketlov scored 13 points to go along with her four assists and Brown notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
The loss will end the 2015–16 season for the South Hill squad, but the win gives Stevens its first Empire 8 Championship since the 2010–11 season and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.