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No. 24 Women’s Basketball Falls to AIC in First Game of Saint Rose Holiday Classic

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

ALBANY, N.Y. – The No. 24 University of the Sciences women's basketball team dropped its opening game of the Saint Rose Holiday Classic, 72-62, to American International on Saturday afternoon.

USciences (7-2) jumped out to an early five point lead thanks to 3-pointers by Colleen Walsh, Alex Thomas and Jordan Vitelli, the third making the score 9-4 just 3:19 into play.

American International scored six straight to momentarily go back on top, but a Sarah Abbonizio three-point play reestablished a 12-10 advantage with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter.

AIC answered with a jumper the next trip down the court and a trifecta at the 2:28 mark to take a lead that it would hold the remainder of the afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets took a 15-13 lead into the second quarter, where University of the Sciences would get as close as one on two occasions, the second coming when Abbonizio nailed a triple to make the score 22-21 with 6:21 to play in the half.

American International came right back with nine unanswered, establishing its first double-digit advantage, 31-21, just 3:24 later. That began a 14-2 surge that put the Yellow Jackets ahead 36-23 with 1:42 showing.

Walsh did make a 3-pointer 52 seconds ahead of halftime to bring the deficit back down to 10 entering the locker room, and University of the Sciences got as close as six 1:03 out of the half when Thomas and Abbonizio opened the third quarter with back-to-back baskets. 

American International responded with the next five points though, and the lead would remain in double-figures until the 2:14 mark of the fourth quarter.  

Abbonizio registered her second consecutive 20-point game, and her third of the season, with 24. She also added a season-best five assists as well as seven rebounds, both of which were one shy of her career-highs.  

Vitelli and Thomas were also in double-figures with 13 each, with both each pulling down three rebounds as well.

Abbonizio, Vitelli and Walsh combined to go 13-of-13 from the foul line as part of USciences' 14-for-15 (93.3 percent) free throw shooting performance.

Walsh fell one rebound shy of her second career double-digit rebounding game and also added eight points as she approached her first career double-double. 

The senior grabbed four offensive boards as the Devils had a season-high 15 as a team, tied for their second-most in a game since the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign.  

University of the Sciences completes play in the Saint Rose Holiday Classic tomorrow when it takes on the host at 2 p.m.