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Women's Basketball Picks Up Key Liberty League Win Over William Smith

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Ithaca College women's basketball team held off William Smith on Friday evening, en route to a 64-58 victory. With the win, the Bombers are now 14-3 overall with a 9-1 mark in the Liberty League. Junior Cassidy O'Malley led all scorers with 22 points while also notching eight rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals. KellyAnne O'Reilly went 2-for-4 from distance to finish with nine points on the day. The first quarter set the tone for what would prove to be a back-and-forth, physical game between IC and the Herons. The Bombers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game behind two free throws from Grace Cannon and a 3-pointer from senior Allie Tunick. The Herons, however scored six straight on buckets from Mia Morrison, Emma Gallagher and Stavriana Dimitrakopoulou, to take a 6-5 lead. A layup from O'Malley at 4:26 gave the Bombers the lead once again. She hit another layup with 2:01 left and Sara Jackson completed the 7-0 run for IC and gave the Bombers a 14-8 lead with 1:18 left. Jackson opened up the second quarter with a 3-pointer, pushing IC's edge to seven points. Three free throws from O'Malley gave the Bombers a double-digit, 22-12, lead with 7:54 left before William Smith cut it down to three points. Morrison drained a 3-pointer at 7:40, followed by a free throw from Juliana Gamboa and a 3-pointer from Dimitrakopoulou. Sophomore Megan Yawman quickly answered back for IC with a shot from behind the arc with 5:08 left in the half. The Herons went on to score the final three points of the half to head into the locker room trailing Ithaca just three points, 29-26. William Smith opened up the third quarter with back-to-back layups from Olivia Hughes and Dimitrakopoulou to take its first lead – 30-29 – since the first quarter. After exchanging baskets for several minutes, Ithaca started to create some distance in the final 2:36, outscoring the Herons 8-2. Abbi Field started the run with a jumper at 2:36 and a 3-pointer from O'Reilly ultimately extended it to 42-36 with 33 seconds left on the clock. After two William Smith free throws, senior Meghan Mazzella pushed the lead back up to six points with a layup. Although William Smith cut Ithaca's lead down to four points twice in the fourth quarter, the Bombers continued to hold the Herons off for the remainder of the game. Ithaca built up its biggest lead of the fourth quarter – eight points – several times, starting with a Field bucket in the opening minute. Gamboa netted three free throws, cutting IC's advantage to 46-41 and it was a Gamboa 3-pointer with 5:59 that brought the Herons within four, 50-46. With just seven seconds left to play, the Herons once again cut the deficit to four points on an Annaliese Schreder 3-pointer, but it was too little, too late as O'Reilly closed things out with two free throws. Morrison led William Smith with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Bombers are back in action tomorrow at 2 p.m. with another Liberty League matchup against Union.

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