The Ithaca College women’s basketball team suffered a buzzer-beater loss to St. John Fisher College 60–59 Feb. 4 in Ben Light Gymnasium. The squad’s record now stands at 11–9 on the season.
St. John Fisher started off the game strong, getting out to an early lead of 9–2 before the Bombers were able to come back and take a 14–13 lead to end the first quarter.
The Blue and Gold dominated at the beginning of the second quarter, jumping out to an early 22–13 lead off of two 3-pointers from sophomore Allison Spaschak and a layup from freshman Annie Giannone, who made her first career start in this game. Head coach Dan Raymond would not disclose why Giannone started for sophomore Erin Woop in the game.
The Cardinals would regained some momentum as the first half ended with the score tied 24–24. St. John Fisher took a one point leading into the fourth quarter 41–40, and neither team had more than four point lead. With approximately 45 seconds remaining, junior Emily Piacentini hit a three for St. John Fisher to tie the game at 55.
On the next Bomber position, junior Erin Ferguson sank two free throws to give the Blue and Gold a two point lead. On the proceeding Cardinal position, sophomore Caroline Robertson tied the game at 57 after hitting a layup off of Nicole Robinson’s assist with approximately 8.2 seconds left.
Ferguson hit a hook shot with 4 seconds left to put the South Hill squad ahead by two points, 59–57. After the Cardinals were able to advance the ball to half court by calling a timeout, the ball was inbounded to Piacentini who swished a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to give St. John Fisher the 60–59.
Piacentini said she was not supposed to take the shot on the final possession, but the original play broke down, so it was up to her to win the game.
“We were supposed to get the ball to the corner, but it wasn’t open so I got the ball, took a dribble, saw one second on the clock and I knew I had to get a shot up,” said Piacentini.
Piacentini compared this win to Cardinals’ overtime win against the Bombers last year in the Empire 8 Conference championship game.
Raymond said after a loss of this fashion, the team has to focus on how well they played and not the end result.
“We have to build on the positives from this game,” said Raymond. “We played well enough to win the game, we just needed one more play.”
Ferguson said the team expected to prevent St. John Fisher from scoring after taking the lead with 3.4 seconds left.
“We were pretty confident would be able to get a stop on defense, she threw up a lucky shot,” said Ferguson. “One more thing goes our way and we win.”
Ferguson was the Blue and Gold’s leading scorer with 17 points, hitting seven of her nine shot attempts from the field along with three of four free throws.
Sophomore Julie Yacovoni was the only other Bomber in double figures with ten points. She was also the team’s leading rebounder with eight boards. Junior Ali Ricchiuti was only able to log three points for the Blue and Gold, which came off of an and-one layup.
Junior McKenzie Bezon led the way for the Cardinals with 18 points in 33 minutes of play and Piacentini finished the game with 12 points.
The South Hill squad will look to bounce back from this loss Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. when they travel to Hoboken, New Jersey to face Stevens Institute of Technology in Walker Gymnasium.