ELMIRA, NY – The Alfred University women's basketball team lost Saturday in a tough conference matchup with Elmira College. The Saxons (6-12, 2-7 Empire 8) fell to the Soaring Eagles by a score of 64-61.
Katlyn Boland (New York, NY/A. Phillip Randolph) Converted a jumper in the closing seconds of the first quarter, giving AU a 12-11 lead after one. That set the tone for much of the game, as the Saxons were in control until the final minutes.
Points in the paint from Samantha Pierre-Louis (Wheatley Heights, NY/Half Hallow Hills West) and Chanice Battle (Brooklyn, NY/Midwood) helped Alfred get out to a 30-19 lead at halftime.
"We played a great first half defensively and had some very solid looks offensively," Head Coach Mike Moskowitz said. "We thought if we won the first five minutes of the third, we'd be in a good spot."
The Soaring Eagles pulled closer in the third quarter but the Saxons finished with a one-point lead after three.
The fourth quarter was problematic for Alfred.
A three from Lyndsey McCoy (Middleburgh, NY/Middleburgh Central) followed by another long ball from battle pushed the Saxon lead back up to seven with 7:20 left in the game.
AU held a six-point lead at the 3:46 mark when Elmira began to make its push.
A couple of Saxon turnovers along with some missed shots proved costly down the stretch.
Elmira took advantage with some solid defensive plays and tied the game at 54 following two made free throws.
With 1:47 left, the Soaring Eagles nailed a three to go up 57-54, which gave them their first lead since the first quarter.
Battle converted two foul shots with 1:05 on the clock to make it 60-58 in favor of Elmira, but that was as close as the Saxons were able to get.
The Elmira defense held down the stretch and the Soaring Eagles made enough free throws to hold on for the 64-61 win.
"We struggled to make shots in the third and that hurt us," Moskowitz said. " You can point to one or two missed calls, or the one or two turnovers late. Ultimately, Elmira made more winning plays than we did today. While disappointed for our team about this loss, I think this will make us better in the long term. As we always say, this is a process and there will be bumps in the road. All that matters is how we respond next week."
Battle had another big game on the scoring end with a season high 23 points on 8-13 shooting. Pierre-Louis recorded 13 points and nine rebounds. McCoy scored 11 and grabbed six boards while Allison O'Toole (Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley)led the Saxons with six assists.
Alfred will return home next week to take on St. John Fisher College on Tuesday evening at 5:30PM.