ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University women's basketball team evened its record in Empire 8 play on Friday evening with a hard fought win over Utica College. The Saxons (5-6, 1-1 Empire 8) overcame the Pioneers by a 71-57 score.
The teams began back and forth play right out of the gate with a 6-6 score after three minutes of play. The Pioneers then went on an 8-2 run to push the score to 14-8 at the 3:51 mark in the first. Lyndsey McCoy (Middleburgh, NY/Middleburgh Central) then buried a three to make it 14-11. At the end of the first quarter Utica led Alfred 20-15.
The Pioneers were first on the board in the second quarter before AU stormed back with six unanswered thanks to a multiple Bri Hicks (Burlington, VT/Ithaca) buckets inside the paint to cut the Utica lead to just one. The teams traded buckets for the next few minutes before Jamie Wilcox (Forestville, NY/Pine Valley) hit a three pointer to give the Saxons their first lead, 28-27, at the 1:08 mark in the first half. A free throw and layup by Utica late in the period sent the teams into the locker room with the Pioneers leading 30-28.
Buckets were traded for the first half of the third quarter with Utica grasping to a 35-34 lead with 5:21 to play in the third. Wilcox then converted a layup to spring an Alfred 9-0 run that gave the Saxons a 42-35 lead. At the close of the third AU led Utica 48-41.
The final period began McCoy cushioning the Saxon lead with a three to make the score 51-41. From that point, Alfred continued to extend the lead up to as many as 17 with 7:21 to play. Utica managed to cut it down to 11 with 2:49 on the clock but that was as close as they would get as the Saxons walked away with the 14 point victory.
"Very, Very pleased with our defensive execution," Head Coach Mike Moskowitz said. "We contested almost every three, which we knew was important. We showed some solid poise and got stops when we needed them down the stretch. Giving up 20 points in the first quarter and then just 37 after that was a testament to our focus and communication. Offensively, a season high 19 assists on 27 made shots is nice to see."
McCoy put in 18 points and grabbed four steals on the defensive end. Wilcox shot 3-5 from behind the three point line and had 18 points of her own. Hicks scored 13 points while blocking two shots and posting a career high, seven steals. Amanda Figueroa (Cypress, TX/Rosehill Christian) had 11 points and grabbed a team high seven rebounds.
"Very happy with how we responded to a little rough patch," said Moskowitz. "Looking to carry this positive momentum into tomorrow!"
The Saxons will have a quick turnaround and will host Hartwick College tomorrow at 2PM.