Saints Fall to Vassar in First-Round Playoff Game

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Nicole Teta landed a shot from the arc with 1:35 to play and Sophie Nick went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to secure a 53-48 won over the St. Lawrence University women's basketball team in a Liberty League first-round playoff game in Burkman Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.

Senior Cara Waterson and junior Meghan Hynes led the Scarlet and Brown with 12 points each, shooting 5-for-10 and 5-for 11, respectively. The two combined for seven rebounds, while first-year Katie Frederick posted a team-high 14 rebounds. Frederick, Kaelyn Kohlasch and Katie Gallagher each tallied six points for the Saints.

An even match from start, both teams were knotted at four just two and a half minutes into the first frame. Nick made a quick jump shot to give Vassar a 10-6 lead with about three minutes to play. Waterson rolled three straight layups to give the Saints a two-point lead and Ariella Rosenthal responded to tie the game at 12 after the first ten minutes of play.  

The Brewers used the second quarter to their advantage outscoring the Saints 24-12. Isa Peczuh netted a 3-pointer and layup improving Vassar's lead to 23-18 midway through the frame. Peczuh extended the Brewers' lead to 11 twice, the second with a jump shot with 2:03 to play and Vassar managed a 36-24 lead at halftime.

St. Lawrence rallied after the break, Kohlasch netted a 3-pointer with just over three minutes remaining to cut Vassar's lead to five. The Saints outshot the Brewers 11-4 in the third.

Kohlasch drained another shot from the arc putting the Saints up by two with 5:26 to play and giving them their first lead of the game since the first quarter.

Maeve Sussman knotted the game on a jump shot just over a minute and a half later, and Rosenthal tied the game once more before Teta's 3-pointer at 1:35. Hynes pushed the ball out of the hands of Teta to record the steal and the layup closing the gap to 49-48 in favor of the Brewers.

Nick put the game away for Vassar at the free-throw line.

"It was a fun game tonight," said head coach Dan Roiger. "Playoff games come down to usually one or two possessions and this was a one possession game, they made a triple when it mattered and we responded with a bucket, but were one point short going into the final minute. We have some weaknesses on our team and they haunted us today, however, I'm very proud of the effort we displayed in the second half and coming back the way we did."

"Overall, I am really proud of this team," Roiger continued. "They should be really proud of their work ethic. They allowed us to coach them hard all season and we had great team chemistry in the locker room and on the court. We had a great year, made the playoffs, and fought for a championship right up to the last weekend of the season. We played in some big games all season, in a very challenging league, and we did it starting three first-year players. We have a really strong core for the future and I hope that our players realize their potential and find motivation to continue to work hard on their skills. It came down to one play tonight - one rebound, one layup, one triple, one pass and that's good motivation for the future!"

Sussman shot 5-for-11 and Peczuh went 5-for-6 to lead the Brewers with 13 points each, while Rosenthal added 12 and Nick recorded a team-high seven rebounds. Sussman, Teta and Kim Romanoff each grabbed two steals for Vassar. Both team's shot a perfect 100 percent from the free-throw line

The Saints finished the 2017-18 season 17-9 overall, while Vassar improved to 17-9 and will advance to play Skidmore in the conference semifinals on Saturday.