Elmira Women's Basketball Secures First Win of the Season Over D'Youville, 79-63

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Score: Elmira College 79, D'Youville College 63
Records: Elmira (1-1), D'Youville (1-1)
Location: College Center Gym -- Buffalo, N.Y.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Elmira College women's basketball team earned its first win of the 2018-19 season by defeating D'Youville College on the road by a 79-63 final score on Monday night. The victory was also the first for Devin Shea as head coach of the Soaring Eagles.

After scoring just 49 points with a 26.2 field-goal percentage in the season-opener at Hilbert College on Saturday, the Soaring Eagle offense found its groove for three of the four quarters on Monday night against the Spartans. With the exception of the third quarter, EC at least 22 points and shot over 50.0 percent from the floor in each period. 

A red-hot start saw the Purple and Gold roll out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter. The Soaring Eagles scored the first 10 points of the game, highlighted by a steal-and-score by freshman Alyssa Waters '22 and a fast-break layup by Rachel Vespucci '19. Bridget Yaw '20 tallied six of Elmira's final eight points in the opening quarter to extend a three-point lead, 14-11, back to double-digits, 24-14.

Balanced scoring continued in the second quarter, with seven coming from Waters, seven from Sarah Garner '20, and six more points from Vespucci, who nearly completed her double-double before halftime. Garner entered the game at the start of the period and logged five consecutive points inside the first 53 seconds, the final three of which were scored on a successful and-one play inside. A mini 4-0 run capped off by a Lindsey Heaton '19 layup put the Soaring Eagles up by 19, 37-18, and EC would enter the halftime break up 46-32.

Although the Soaring Eagles rebounded with their highest-scoring quarter in the fourth, the host Spartans momentarily stifled Elmira in the third quarter, as the Purple and Gold managed just seven points in the third. 

Although the lead was never lost, D'Youville came within three points early in the fourth, 54-51, before the Soaring Eagles found their second wind. From there, Elmira went on a 16-4 run to all but seal the victory. A Waters trey at the 6:42 mark helped spark the run, and Heaton sunk a 3-pointer of her own with a little over three minutes remaining to make it a 70-55 advantage.

In Their Own Words…
Head Coach Devin Shea when asked about earning her first win with the Soaring Eagles…
"It's more about the team getting the win and seeing how they would respond to Saturday. So many people stepped up and made great contributions throughout the 40 minutes. We asked them to play with confidence and composure, and that's exactly what they did."

Coach Shea on the success of the offense against the Spartans following a slow start in the 2018-19 opener…
"We ran the floor well, and we moved the ball very well. They played team basketball and were willing to make the extra pass for the great shot, rather than to take a good one. The team also allowed their defense to spark the offense."

News and Notes

  • Elmira and D'Youville both leveled their overall records at 1-1 following Monday's game.
  • Shea picked up her first head coaching victory in her first season with the Soaring Eagles.
  • EC's 79 points are the most since the team scored 82 in a win over SUNY Cortland on November 30, 2017, a span of 21 games.
  • Vespucci scored a team- and season-high 20 points to go along with 13 boards for the first double-double of her senior year.
  • Waters, a first-year guard, started her second consecutive game and tripled the point total from her collegiate debut with 18 against D'Youville.
  • Garner made her debut with the EC women's basketball team and recorded 12 points in just 11 minutes of action.
  • Yaw made her first career start and scored a single-game career-high 10 points.
  • Heaton has scored double-digit points in both games of the 2018-19 season.

Up Next
Elmira will travel to the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament, hosted by Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday and Saturday, November 16-17. The tournament begins on Friday evening with a 5:30 matchup with the Saints of Marymount.