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Women's Basketball Routs St. John Fisher for First Win of 2020

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Three players reached double-figures as the Ithaca College women's basketball team opened up 2020 with a 76-66 win over St. John Fisher on Monday evening. The Bombers were paced by senior Cassidy O'Malley who finished with a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Junior Grace Cannon also reached double-figures for IC, netting 13 and recording five steals while KellyAnne O'Reilly added 10 points. It was a back-and-forth battle between the former Empire 8 foes for most of the game as both teams went on scoring runs. After a slow start to open the game, the Bombers went on a 10-0 run in the final half of the first quarter to build up a 14-6 lead with 1:59 remaining on the clock. O'Malley scored six of those 10 points with back-to-back layups and a jumper, while Megan Yawman and Cannon also added buckets for the Bombers. Ithaca took a brief 10-point, 18-8 advantage with just 21 seconds left in the quarter on a jumper from Lindsey Albertelli, but a 3-pointer from Fisher's Amy Gardner at the buzzer sent IC into the second quarter with a seven-point lead. The Bombers maintained a lead through the entire second quarter, building it up to double-digits several times. Although Fisher's Ella Eckert opened the quarter with a layup for the Cardinals, Ithaca went on to score the next six points on layups from O'Reilly and a jumper from Abbi Field to go up 24-13 with 7:49 on the clock. The teams exchanged baskets for several minutes with IC holding an 11-point, 36-25 lead with 3:42 remaining. The Cardinals were able to cut things down to seven points following two quick baskets from Anna Milham and Alex Reigle but the Bombers held off any further runs. The third quarter proved to be a strong one for St. John Fisher, as it closed the gap to as few as three points. With just under 7:00 on the clock, the Cardinals went on a 5-0 run behind layups from Leah Koonmen, Julia Mertsock and a free throw from Mallory Wood. Fisher eventually cut things down to three points, 44-41, at the 3:30 mark on a Mertsock layup. The Bombers created some more distance, but Fisher came within four points again with 1:23 remaining in the quarter. IC closed out the third quarter with buckets from Cannon and Juliana Gamboa to pull ahead by eight points, 53-45, heading into the final 10 minutes. The Bombers came out to score the first nine points of the fourth quarter and take a 17-point, 62-45 lead. Cannon led the charge with the first six points of the quarter, followed by a jumper and a free throw from Field. A free throw from Fisher's Miranda Lynch cut the lead down to 64-54 with 3:21 remaining, and the Cardinals eventually brought the gap back down to single digits with 1:56 on the clock following an Eckert and-one play. St. John Fisher went on to come within six points with 44 seconds remaining, but the Bombers held the Cardinals off en route to the win. Ithaca went 28-for-65 on the day and out-rebounded Fisher 41-34. Of those rebounds, 17 were offensive which led to 18 second-chance points for IC. The Bombers also recorded 10 team steals and forced 16 Fisher turnovers.

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