UR Women’s Basketball continued its strong play by winning the Mark’s Pizzeria Tournament with a 78–55 victory over Nazareth College this past Saturday, improving the ninth-ranked Yellowjackets to 8–1.

After shooting just 38.5 percent in its previous game, Rochester improved that figure to 46.7 percent, all while shooting 90 percent from the free-throw line. Senior forward Al Leslie, who was named tournament MVP, was sharp, making 7–9 from the field and 3–3 from the line to score 17 points, on top of recording two assists and three steals. Lauren Deming, also a senior forward, hit 7–12 from the field, recording four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.

UR controlled the game from the start, jumping out a 15–6 lead on the back of a 9–2 run in the first quarter, and had a 15-point lead heading into the half.

The team impressed defensively, recording 16 steals and seven blocks against the Golden Flyers (2–4). In the first and fourth quarters combined, Nazareth managed just 19 points.

A night earlier, the ‘Jackets were even stronger defensively against St. John Fisher College, holding their opponent to just 45 points in a 19-point win.

After an even first few minutes, Rochester put together a 13–0 run in the second quarter to take the lead for good. On the quarter, the ‘Jackets outscored the Cardinals (3–4) 15–3, holding them to 1–13 shooting from the field.

On the game, the hosts collected 13 steals, five from senior guard Lizzy Atkinson. They also recorded 10 blocks, four by Deming. Nazareth was held to 25.9 percent shooting and turned the ball over 22 times on the game.

In the third quarter, UR outscored its foes 24–13, putting on a strong offensive display. They made 9–15 shots from the field during the period, and Deming and Leslie combined for 14 points.

In addition to her four blocks, Deming scored 13 points, shooting 6–7 on free throws, and pulled down four rebounds, all while playing just 17 minutes. Leslie was the only other ‘Jacket to reach double figures, with 10 points and five rebounds.

The men, ranked 17th, are also 8–1 on the season, and went 3–0 over the last week. Their victory in the men’s side of the Mark’s Pizzeria Crosstown shootout culminated with a 75–63 win over Nazareth College on Saturday evening. The men’s tournament was held at RIT.

The ‘Jackets had to come back from a 10-point second-half deficit against the Golden Flyers (4–2). They did so largely thanks to junior guard Ryan Clamage, who leads the team in scoring and was named tournament MVP. In the second half, he scored 16 of his 19 points and recorded all eight of his rebounds. He also recorded 4 assists on the game and went 10–10 from the line. Fellow junior guard Jake Wittig also scored 19 to go with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

After taking a 35–32 lead into halftime, the Golden Flyers started the second period on a 9–2 run. The ‘Jackets responded with an 8–0 run, but Nazareth maintained until UR closed on a 18–2 run over the last four minutes. Clamage put his team ahead for good on a free throw and, along with Wittig, sealed the game from the foul line.

To start the week, Rochester went on another second-half run in an 82–60 win at SUNY Geneseo. Over an incredible eight-minute span, the ‘Jackets outscored the Knights 31–11. To put the scoring into perspective, that rate would translate to over 150 points over the full course of a game.

UR shot 12–16 from the field during the run, and eclipsed 50 percent from the field over the course of a game for the first time this season. Its most impressive statistic was recording only four turnovers, the team’s fewest since 2011.

Clamage led the team with 16 points on 4–7 shooting from three, while Wittig added 14 with seven assists. Junior guard Michael Mangan had 13 points, four rebounds, and three steals.

In the tournament opener against St. John Fisher on Friday evening, the Yellowjackets advanced to play Nazareth with another strong shooting performance that led to an 82–64 win. The team bettered its mark from the game before by shooting 52 percent from the floor, also going 10 of 20 from three-point range.

The ‘Jackets were in control from the start, surging out to a 13–3 lead and taking a 41–25 edge into the break. They held the Cardinals (3–4) to 40 percent shooting and just 26 percent from the three. Clamage and Mangan each scored 16 points, and sophomore forward Patrick Benka scored 13 off the bench.

The women and men will both play Ithaca College on Tuesday night, with the women on the road and the men at home.

Tagged: Basketball

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