ROCHESTER, N.Y. – What a difference a day makes. Rochester got off to a good start and maintained it throughout in a 78-55 victory over Nazareth College in the Mark's Pizzeria Crosstown Shootout at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Saturday evening.
It marks the second consecutive year that the UR women were 2-0 in the event. RIT was also 2-0 in the tournament each year. On Saturday, the Tigers outraced St. John Fisher, 65-49.
UR improved to 8-1 this season. Nazareth is 2-4. The Yellowjackets are ranked #9 by D3hoops.com and #11 by the WBCA.
On Thursday, Rochester relied on its defense – the Yellowjackets had 13 steals against St. John Fisher in a 64-45 win and blocked 10 shots. It played a role vs. Nazareth, too. On Saturday, UR had 16 steals and blocked seven shots.
The shooting was better Saturday. Alexandra Leslie scored 17 points, hitting 7-9 from the floor and 3-3 at the line. She had two assists and three steals in 26 minutes. Lauren Deming scored 15 points, hitting 7-12 from the floor (1-3 outside the arc). Deming also contributed four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Brynn Lauer had five points and two assists. Lizzy Atkinson knocked down two three-pointers and scored eight points overall. Lena Ethington had eight points, four rebounds, four assists, one block, and three steals. Brenna James scored nine points and added three steals.
Nazareth was paced by Samantha Peebles with 19 points and Rachel Benedict with 14 plus six rebounds.
Leslie was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Lauer, Benedict, Tara Lynch and Cori Okada of RIT, and Erin Hulbert of St. John Fisher.
UR seized control early, using a 9-2 run over two minutes to stretch its lead to 15-6 with 4:12 left in the first period. Leslie made two layups, one came on a traditional three-point play, Deming had one, and Ethington had one. Overall the Yellowjackets scored 46 points in the paint.
In the second period, Rochester scored nine points after Nazareth turnovers and extended the lead to 37-22 heading into the locker room.