The University of Rochester women's basketball team stifled visiting Capital University on the defensive end, leading to a 71-55 opening night victory on Friday at the Louis Alexander Palestra in the UR Chuck Resler Invitational.
Rochester (1-0), ranked #21 in the preseason D3hoops.com coaches poll, recorded a total of 12 blocked shots, the second most ever in a single game, while also holding the Crusaders (0-1) to just 37% shooting from the floor.
The Yellowjackets were led by senior trio Lizzy Atkinson who had a career-high 19 points and five 3-pointers, Lauren Deming who had 16 points and nine rebounds and Alexandra Leslie who added 13 points, 7 rebounds and a school record tying 7 blocked shots.
First-year Gillian Mair chipped in six points and four assists off the bench while Lena Ethington had four points and seven rebounds in her first career start. Senior Mary Kronenwetter added four points and five rebounds.
An early 13-2 run sparked Rochester out to an 18-6 lead just over six minutes into the contest, eventually leading to a UR 20-10 edge at the edge of the first quarter.
Captial used a strong second frame to grab a 32-29 lead late in the quarter, but back-to-back Atkinson triples allowed the Yellowjackets to head to intermission up three at 35-32. Elle Folan scored 12 of her team high 16 points in the second, while Erin Risner added six points in the quarter, ending the contest with 14 total.
Rochester was able to hold the Crusaders at an arms length during the third quarter, eventually reaching another double-digit lead following a Mair three-pointer with 2:10 remaining in the period.
Folan sank a trey to open the four quarter, bringing Capital within ten, but that is as close as the Crusaders would get the rest of the way, as Kronenwetter, Shea McCartney and Leslie made three straight buckets in the paint to build the Rochester lead back to 14 with 7:23 left.
UR moves on to the Resler title game against #5 ranked Thomas More College in a huge early season matchup of top-25 schools, as the Saints upended Calvin College 70-52 in Friday's earlier semifinal game.
This will be UR's 21st straight appearance in the Resler Tournament title game, dating back to the 1997-98 season. In that span, the Yellowjackets have won 12 of their overall 20 tournament crowns.