Senftleber's Inside Game Powers Vassar Women's Basketball Past Wesleyan, 63-59

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Hannah Senftleber
The junior forward socred 22 points a near perfect night of shooting.
Box Score 
Game Program

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (November 20, 2012) – While the Vassar College women's basketball team built a comfortable 14-point lead with 8:06 to play in the game, there was always the feeling visiting Wesleyan would claw itself back into the game. The Cardinals did exactly that – tying the game 57-57 -- with 1:30 to play, but the Brewers used six straight free throws to secure a 63-59 victory on Tuesday night.

Two free throws by Wesleyan's sophomore forward Jess Cherenza knotted the contest at 57-all with 90 seconds to play, but the Brewers remained calm, getting six made free throws from freshman Caitlin Drakeley, junior Hannah Senftleber and sophomore Colleen O'Connell to withstand a late Wesleyan surge. In the final 1:23, Wesleyan went cold from the field, missing two layups and a pair of 3-pointers that could have effectively brought the game into overtime. The Cardinals were hampered by a 41 percent shooting effort in the second half, which included just 3 of 10 from 3-point distance.

The victory improves Vassar to 3-0 and is the first ever victory over Wesleyan in three games and the Brewers' first over a NESCAC team since the 2000 season when Vassar defeated Connecticut College 80-58. Vassar will next host Hunter College on November 30 at 7:00 p.m. Wesleyan drops to 2-1 on the season and next will host Johnson and Wales University on November 27 at 6:00 p.m.

The first half was tight. While Wesleyan held a brief 6-2 lead, Vassar regained control of the half 12-11 at 15:10 on a 3-pointer by junior guard Cyndi Matsuoka. There was no escaping a tenacious Wesleyan team, and the Brewers led only 32-28 at intermission.

Within the first two minutes of the second half, Vassar attempted to end the contest in a hurry, building a 39-30 lead on a right side jumper by Drakeley with 18:13 to play. The Brewers kept its offense in an up-tempo mode with a pair of 12 point leads during the half, a built a 14-point bulge, 55-41, after Drakeley converted a nifty inside layup with 8:06 remaining.

Wesleyan mounted a considerable comeback, going on a 16-2 run, keyed by Cherenza, sophomore guard Dreisen Heath and back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore forward Cherikira Lashley and freshman guard

Jackie Brown to come within 57-55. Cherenza's two free throws tied the contest 57-57.

The Brewers remained aggressive, however, with Drakeley, Senftleber and O'Connell crashing the offensive end and earning trips to the line where they all converted.

The Brewers got a near-perfect shooting night from Senftleber, who scored 22 points on 7-8 shooting from the floor and a pefect 8-8 from the free throw line. The Brewers got an efficient 18 points from Matsuoka. O'Connell had game-high eight rebounds.

Wesleyan got 12 points from Cherenza and 11 points from Health.