Wildcats Pull Off Comeback Victory Over St. Elizabeth 73-67
Cazenovia, N.Y. - The Cazenovia College women's basketball team overcame a double-digit deficit late in the second half to top North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) foe St. Elizabeth by the final score of 74-67. With the win Cazenovia improves to 5-8 in NEAC play (5-16 overall), while the Eagles drop to 7-12, 5-8 in NEAC play.
The Wildcats came out sluggish after their long road trip on the previous day, finding themselves down 9-8 just five minutes into the game. Both teams locked into a defensive struggle at the eight minute mark with St. Elizabeth holding a 19-13 edge over the Wildcats.
Cazenovia trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but rallied to only be behind 32-25 at the half.
In the second half Cazenovia once again fell behind by 11 points, but a three pointer by Haley Zambito (West Bloomfield, N.Y.) four minutes in brought the score to 40-35. Despite the Wildcats closing the margin to four, St. Elizabeth pushed the lead back to 11 at the midway point of the second stanza. Both teams picked up the intensity, but the Eagles remained on top, 59-48, with just five minutes in regulation.
Cazenovia then staged an improbable comeback. Zambito cut the lead to single digits on another triple, followed by a three pointer by Kimberly Vrigian (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and a break away lay up by Megan McDermott (Greene, N.Y.) to bring the score to 61-57 with 3:43 left in the game.
Vrigian knocked down another three to make the score 61-60 with just under three minutes on the scoreboard. Rachael McDonough (Troy, N.Y.) was the next Wildcat to come up big for Cazenovia by making two free throws to give Cazenovia their first lead of the contest at the two minute mark.
After another Cazenovia defensive stop, Vrigian extended the Wildcat lead to 65-61 on a traditional three point play.
Cazenovia secured the comeback victory over the final minutes by shooting 8 for 12 from the charity stripe. Vrigian went 7-10 from line over this stretch to lead the Wildcats to the 74-67 victory.
Vrigian was high scorer for Cazenovia with 19 points. Erin O'Malley (Torrance, Calif.) played a strong overall floor game with 18 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists.
Zambito knocked down four three pointers for 12 points while McDermott and McDonough dominated the boards for 12 and 10 rebounds respectively.
The Wildcats are back in action this Wednesday in another NEAC match-up at Keuka College. Tip off is at 6:00pm.