WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The University of Rochester women's basketball team rebounded nicely from its first loss of the season, defeating host Williams College 70-61 to close out play at the Williams Invitational on Sunday afternoon at Chandler Gymnasium.
9th-ranked Rochester moves to 6-1 on the season, closing out a four-game in six-day stretch. Williams drops to 5-2 on the season with the loss.
On Saturday, the Yellowjackets used a big 2nd quarter, outscoring the host Ephs 25-10 over the 10 minute span to build an 11-point lead at intermission, up 40-29.
Rochester shot lights out in the first half, shooting 59% from the floor and 60% (6-10) from 3-point range. The big run was a 15-2 burst to start the second quarter, fueled by three 3-pointers, two by Lizzy Atkinson and another by Lauren Foley along with three buckets in the paint.
In the second half, the Yellowjackets built their lead up to a game high 18 with some strong offensive rebounding inside by Mary Kronenwetter, leading to back-to-back second chance layups, making the score 52-34 with five minutes left in the third.
Williams did not go away however, responding with a 13-0 run over the next six minutes to trim the lead to just five. Maggie Meehan scored seven points in the run, Kristin Fechtelkotter added four and Mikaela Topper chipped in two free throws, allowing the Ephs to make a game of it.
UR was able to stop the run with two straight baskets inside from Alexandra Leslie and Lauren Deming to build its lead back to nine with 8:35 on the clock.
Both teams went cold, with neither squad making a basket for the next three minutes, until Amanni Fernandez sank a jump shot for Williams with 5:48 left. Three straight free throws, one from Lydia Zaleski and two from Topper cut the Rochester lead to just four with 4:25 to play.
Rochester was able to fend off the Ephs with some strong work in the paint, making four of its next five shot attempts. Deming made a jumper from the free throw line, Leslie followed up her own miss with a put back layup and Brynn Lauer sank two 12-footers to maintain a safe lead for the Yellowjackets.
An old-fashioned 3-point play by Leslie then sealed it, putting Rochester up by 10 with only a minute left on the clock.
UR's Leslie finished the day with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, while shooting 8-14 from the floor. Deming added 15 points and seven rebounds, while Atkinson had nine points, coming on three treys.
Lena Ethington added six points and four rebounds, while Lauer scored five points and handed out four assists. Both Kronenwetter and Gillian Mair chipped in six points off the bench. Rochester held a 36-29 advantage on the glass, including 15 offensive boards.
Williams' Fernandez was her teams leading scorer with 15 points, adding 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Topper scored 13 points while Fechtelkotter scored eight points and had five rebounds.
Overall, Rochester ended up shootin 46% from the floor (29-63) and was 35% (6-17) from distance, compared to the Ephs who shot 44% overall (24-54) and 50% (3-6) from behind the arc.
The victory gives UR head coach Jim Scheible his 350th career with on the Yellowjacket sidelines, coming in is 501st game, for a winning percentage of .699.
Rochester is off until next Thursday when UR hosts the women's half of the Mark's Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout with local rivals St. John Fisher, Nazareth and RIT. The Yellowjackets host St. John Fisher on Thursday and play against Nazareth on Saturday, with both games slated for 8 pm starts.