AMHERST, Mass. - SUNY Geneseo sophomore guard Natalie Alfieri scored 16 points, including a pair of late three-pointers, to lead the Knights to a victory over Vassar, 74-55, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at LeFrak Gymnasium Friday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Geneseo jumped out to an early lead as sophomore guard Lindsay Halpin drilled a three to put the Knights ahead, 12-2, just 3:09 into the contest. Later in the period, senior forward Nicole Kaczmarczyk hit a three to put the Knights ahead, 19-8, but Vassar responded with an 11-2 run to pull within two points. Halpin hit a pull-up jumper as time expired in the first quarter, giving the Knights a 23-19 lead at the break.
- In the second quarter, Geneseo led by as many as eight points, but Vassar cut the lead to two points with 2:38 to play. Junior guard Madison McCulley drained a three on the Knights final possession, but Vassar answered with a bucket before time expired and the Knights entered the locker room with a 37-34 lead at the halftime break.
- Halpin and Alfieri opened the third quarter with back-to-back threes, giving the Knights a 43-34 advantage, but the Brewers battled back once again, cutting the lead to two. Vassar hit a long two-point jumper at the buzzer to cut the Geneseo lead to 54-50 entering the final frame.
- In the fourth quarter, the Knights shot 7-for-17 from the floor, including 5-for-7 from three while holding Vassar to 2-for-11 shooting. Alfieri and junior guard Sara Ciotti combined for three-straight triples to advance the Geneseo lead to 64-53 with 5:35 remaining. With 26 seconds remaining, Alfieri drilled another three-pointer, putting the Knights ahead, 74-55, and sealing the game.
- The Knights shot 10-for-14 from the floor in the first quarter, and 27-for-52 (51.9%) for the game. Alfieri finished 4-for-4 from beyond the arc while Halpin hit three triples.
- Halpin finished with 13 points while senior forwards McKenna Brooks and Nicole Kaczmarczyk each scored 10.
- Geneseo improves to 8-2 in NCAA Tournament First Round games and gives the team four NCAA Tournament wins in the past four seasons.
- The Knights outscored Vassar, 20-5, in the fourth quarter.
Geneseo will face Amherst on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.