Women’s Basketball will face RIT in the Sweet 16.

The Yellowjackets defeated Stevens Institute of Technology and Marymount University at home this past weekend to advance in the Division III tournament, setting up the rival match.

Against Stevens on Friday, the ‘Jackets racked up a large lead and held on for the victory. When the game was tied in the first quarter at 7–7, the ‘Jackets netted two threes and a fastbreak layup to march ahead, 15–7. In the remainder of the first quarter, the Ducks couldn’t close the gap, and they headed into the second quarter down 22–15.

The ‘Jackets started the second quarter with a 15–2 run, increasing the lead to 20 points. By the end of the half, the ‘Jackets were up 43–25.

In the third quarter, both teams had a stronger defensive showing. However, the Ducks’ five fouls prevented them from closing the gap, and the third quarter ended with the ‘Jackets up 58–35.

The ‘Jackets seemed to let their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, but their 25-point lead was insurmountable. The Ducks outscored the ‘Jackets in the fourth quarter, 22–11, but the ‘Jackets still won the game, 69–57.

Prior to the game against Stevens, Rochester hosted a first-round match between MIT and Marymount University of Virginia, which Marymount won in a close match, 58–54.

On Saturday, the ‘Jackets took on Marymount in the round of 32. The game remained exciting throughout, but a late run helped put the ‘Jackets in the Sweet 16.

In the first three quarters, neither team could build a lead of more than six points. The third quarter alone had four lead swings, and both teams were playing aggressive but sound defense, causing more turnovers and fouls. By the end of the third, the score was 34–33 for the ‘Jackets.

“We knew they were a good defensive team,” said head coach Jim Scheible. “We were trying to pass the ball too much in the first.”

He also attributed some of the success to the home crowd, saying, “The crowd really drove us.”

In the fourth, the ‘Jackets gained enough of a lead to win. After the widening the gap to six points, the ‘Jackets almost slipped, as the Saints were able to get within two points. But the strong defensive play of the ‘Jackets forced the Saints to foul, allowing the ‘Jackets to go on a run fueled by free-throws, securing a 53–42 victory.

There were many top performers in both games. Senior forward Al Leslie had a double-double against Marymount, with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. Against Stevens, Leslie scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds. First-year guard Gillian Mair netted a career-high 13 points off the bench against Marymount, going three for three on three-point shots. Senior guard Lizzy Atkinson had 12 points and six rebounds against Stevens. Senior forward Lauren Deming grabbed seven boards and scored 11 points against Marymount and got eight points and seven rebounds against Stevens. Senior guard Brynn Lauer recorded five assists against Marymount and two against Stevens.

The ‘Jackets advance to their second Sweet 16 berth in the past three years, and their ninth in 19 years under Scheible. The ‘Jackets will take on rival RIT on Friday at Amherst College, and the winner of that game will face either Montclair State University or two-time defending champion Amherst College in the Elite Eight.

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