Gallagher beats the buzzer; Saints women's basketball edges RIT, 64-63
Katie Gallagher hit a shot clock buzzer-beating layup with about six seconds remaining to give the St. Lawrence University women's basketball team a one-point advantage and a 64-63 win over RIT in Liberty League action Friday evening in Burkman Gymnasium.
With the win the Saints improved to 11-4 on the season and 6-2 in conference play, while RIT fell to 11-3 and 6-2.Gallagher led the Saints with 12 points and three rebounds. Meghan Hynes went 2-for-2 and 3-for-5 from the floor for 10 points. Kaelyn Kohlasch, Marlee Gunn and Katie Frederick all recorded eight points for the Saints. Frederick also posted a team-high eight rebounds
The Scarlet and Brown took an early lead over the Tigers, holding a five-point advantage six minutes into play. RIT claimed their first lead of the game at the 2:22 mark of the first quarter. But the Saints regained control outshooting the Tigers 17-13 in the first frame.
The Saints worked to build their lead in the second quarter despite a battle from the Tigers. Kohlasch gave the Saints a seven-point lead with about eight minutes to play, which RIT drained to just one point on a 3-pointer from Jessica Glaz at the 6:48 mark. Annabella Pugliese helped rebuild the Saints lead and gave them a ten-point advantage with just over a minute and a half to play.
Both teams netted 17 points in the second quarter with the Saints holding a slight 34-30 at halftime.
Gunn put the Saints up by eight with a layup just under nine minutes to play in the third. RIT outscored St. Lawrence 16-14 in the third quarter, but it wasn't enough to fully erase their deficit, trailing 48-46 after 30 minutes of play.
Gallagher gave St. Lawrence a four-point lead with her bucket at the 6:54 mark of the fourth quarter. Hynes extended the Saints lead to 59-54 with her 3-pointer with 4:51 to play. Trailing 60-54, RIT ran off six straight points, tying the score at 60 on a layup by Tara Lynch with just under two minutes to play. Hynes gave St. Lawrence a 62-60 lead when she converted a pair of free throws with 1:20 to play. Gallagher then netted the Saints final bucket for the win.
"We were really fortunate tonight to beat an excellent RIT team," said head coach Dan Roiger. "I liked our defense though, we executed pretty well. RIT is a veteran team that has a great offense, they run a lot of different plays and have players that can make plays. For us to hold them to 11 points below their average was huge, we needed every point."
"We missed some key free throws in the middle of the fourth quarter to allow them back in the game," Roiger continued. "We took a bad shot in the final minute and we completely broke down on their shot with 30 seconds left, but we made a big offensive play at the end of the game for the win. All season our team has not panicked when the shot clock winds down. The last shot by Katie Gallagher beat the shot-clock buzzer by a split second, and there was no panic in our team. We keep showing composure at key moments despite our youth."
RIT was led by Jessica Glaz with 26 points, shooting 9-for-16 from the field and 5-for-9 from the arc. Sabrina Wolfe contributed 17 points and seven rebounds, while Amanda Olsen rounded out the top-three scorers with 14 points and five rebounds. Cori Okada added a team-high five assists, while Wolfe also added two steals for the Tigers.
The Saints return tomorrow afternoon to Burkman Gymnasium to close out the second-consecutive home weekend against William Smith at 2 p.m.