Herons take down front-running Dutchwomen 71-55

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—The William Smith College basketball team has played three road games in Liberty League play. Each time the Herons' foe has been in first place and each time William Smith scored an upset.

Union (11-6, 6-3) was the latest frontrunner to falter against the Herons (10-9, 5-3), falling 71-55 at the Viniar Athletic Center. Junior forward Kristen Kush matched her career-high with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. She also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

First-year guard Liz Douglass added 13 points for the Herons, while senior guard Mollie Danahy logged 12 points and game-highs of five assists and four steals.

The Dutchwomen got a combined 27 points from their top two scorers as Marissa Ray posted 16 and Lauren McCormick notched 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Union led by as many as six in the first half and held a four-point edge with 6:59 remaining in the opening half. That's when William Smith seized control of the contest. The Herons, led by eight points from Danahy, scored 13 unanswered and rattled off a 20-2 run that gave them a 38-24 lead with under a minute remaining before the break. At the 39-second mark, Lindsay Hage sank two free throws for the home side to send William Smith into halftime with a 12-point advantage. Union played the final 6:58 without making a single field goal.

Kush was 6-for-6 from the floor and led all scorers with 14 points in the opening 20 minutes. 

Leah Pepe made a 3-pointer to start the second half and get the Dutchwomen within 10, but Douglass and Kush countered with field goals to push the Heron lead to 14. 

Douglass made a pair of free throws with 8:53 remaining to give William Smith its biggest lead of the game, 54-35. Union made a last ditch effort to get back in the game, scoring seven straight points, but Kush countered with the game's next four points.

William Smith shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the first half, while Union managed just 34.6 percent. The Herons' success rate dipped to 31.8 percent in the second half, but it was still better than the Dutchwomen (31%). William Smith also got it done at the free throw line, establishing new season-highs for free throws made (22) and attempted (28).

The Herons will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 5, when they visit Skidmore. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. Fans can follow the action on the Skidmore website with Live Stats.

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