Rochester's Okoniewski Has Big Day In Win Over Westminster

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WESTERVILLE, OH – The University of Rochester women's basketball team closed out non-conference play with a 70-55 victory over Westminster College of Pennsylvania at the Otterbein Smokey Ballenger Classic on Sunday.


The Yellowjackets (6-5), end the tournament with a 2-0 record after edging Oberlin College 63-61 in overtime in the opening round on Saturday afternoon.  UR's 70 points is a season-high through 11 games.


On Sunday, first-year Julianna Okoniewski led the Yellowjackets with a season-high 21 points, adding six rebounds while shooting 10-13 from the floor.  Senior Lena Ethington recorded her third double-double of the season, and second straight, finishing with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists.  Off the bench, Tessa Ludwick chipped in eight points, including two 3-pointers.


Westminster (4-8) was led by Kayla Bennett who had 10 points and eight rebounds.  Aliya Gage finished with 10 points while Magen Polczynski added nine.


Rochester and the Titans battled throughout the opening 10 minutes, with UR ending the quarter up two points, leading 15-13.  A 5-0 burst, with points from Ethington and Moriah Kunes put Rochester up 13-6, but Westminster closed with seven of the last nine points in the period to pull back within two.


The second quarter belonged to Okoniewski, as the first-year player put up 13 points, outscoring the Titans by herself, as the Yellowjackets built a 33-18 lead by halftime.  Okoniewski ended up scoring 11 straight points for UR, as Rochester closed the period on a 14-2 run.  Her 21 points are the most by a Yellowjacket player so far this season.


In the third, Rochester got hot from long range, sinking four of its six 3-pointers of the game.  Ludwick sank both her treys, along with Emma Michaels and Kenna Lauer as the Yellowjackets outscored Westminster 25-18 in the high-scoring period to extend their lead to 22, leading 58-36 through three.


The Titans won the fourth quarter 19-12, but only were able to trim the lead down to 15 at the end of the contest.


Rochester as a team finished 26-68 from the floor (38%), but was solid defensively, letting Westminster make just 30% of its shots, making 20-66 attempts.  Both teams made 30% from distance, UR 6-20, Westminster 3-10, while the Yellowjackets held the narrow rebounding edge, 42-41.


UR now switches focus to University Athletic Association conference play, as the Yellowjackets return home for a matchup against Emory University on Saturday at 12 pm.