The women’s basketball team headed into its first road game of the season on Tuesday night to face off against a strong team from William Smith College. The ‘Jackets entered the game 4-1, with their only defeat coming against Medaille College, a team that the William Smith Herons had already beaten earlier in the season. This did not discourage the Yellowjackets, however, as they came out with a commanding win, 77-67.
“[This win] was very important as it represents that we are able to play at a high level against a very good team,” head coach Jim Scheible said.
Junior forward Helen Baroody agreed with Scheible’s comments about the tough play from the Herons.
“This was a big win for us because William Smith has a very strong women’s basketball program, so it showed us that we can compete at a high level on the road,” she said.
She also noted that the game was important because it will make a difference in seedings near the postseason.
“It was a regional game, and all of our regional games are very important for seeding purposes later on in the season when we are trying to get into the NCAA tournament,” Baroody said.
Four of UR’s five starters scored double-digit points en route to the victory, which was a hard-fought battle early on.
“It was a very high level game. William Smith was a very veteran team with exceptional point guard play,” Scheible said. “We had to step up as a team and defend smart and tough. I thought we did that quite well.”
The score bounced back and forth throughout the beginning of the first half. However, about halfway through, UR took the lead for good. Creeping up on the ‘Jackets, the Herons came within four points at one point, but they were unable to capitalize on the narrowed gap. Going into the half, the Yellowjackets had an eight-point lead, 41-33.
Coming back onto the court after the break, UR nearly tripled its lead, going on a 21-8 run to bring the score to 68-47 midway through the half. The Herons attempted a comeback, making a valiant effort with a 12-0 run of their own, bringing the score to 69-61 with just under four minutes left in the game.
William Smith’s attempt was not enough, however, as UR gained enough momentum to keep the lead throughout the remainder of the game.
With under a minute left in the game, the ‘Jackets were ahead by just five, but solid shooting from the free-throw line and some important rebounds from junior guard Alex Porter advanced their lead to 10 to close out the night.
Freshman forward Caroline Bernal-Silva led the team with 15 points to match her career high. She just missed the double-double, contributing nine rebounds to the team. In addition, Bernal-Silva added four assists, one block and four steals. Porter was able to earn the double-double, scoring 11 points and making 13 rebounds. She also contributed four assists.
Baroody added 13 points to the scoreboard, along with adding four assists. Junior center Julie Marriott was the final starter with double-digit scoring, contributing 14 points, six rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
Junior starting point guard Rachel Stern added four points of her own, two of which came crucially at the end of the game from the foul line, along with two assists. Off the bench, junior guard Johanna McNelis added to the game by contributing five points and four assists.
UR faces off against Union College on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Schenectady, N.Y. After this game they go on break for nearly a month.
Scheible has high hopes for the rest of the season. With some goals to work toward, he looks forward to continued success.
“We are continuing to work to get better on offense, specifically sharing the ball even better and working together,” Scheible said. “Our strength is that we are very versatile and somewhat interchangeable in the positions that we play. We are excited about our prospects for the year. I think we can be very good if we continue to work hard and push each other.”
Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.