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Early Third Quarter Run Propels No. 24 Women’s Basketball Past Saint Rose

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

ALBANY, N.Y. - An early third quarter run that spanned into fourth propelled the No. 24 University of the Sciences women's basketball team to a 64-51 victory at Saint Rose in the second day of its Holiday Classic on Sunday afternoon.

After trailing by eight early in the first quarter and 24-25 at the half, USciences found itself down five 1:01 into the third when Saint Rose scored the first two baskets of the quarter.

Laura Trisch came right back down the court and answered with a jumper, starting what would become a 14-0 run that gave the Devils a lead it would hold onto the remainder of the afternoon.

A Jordan Vitelli 3-pointer tied the score at 29 at the 7:48 mark before Trisch, Colleen Walsh and Sarah Abbonizio each made a triple of their own to make it four in a row and push the advantage to 38-29 with 5:35 to go in the quarter.

Saint Rose got within six twice, the second time coming with 2:37 left in the third, before USciences took its first double-digit advantage with the final five points of the quarter highlighted by Walsh's trifecta making the score 45-34 entering the fourth.

Mikaela Giuliani opened the fourth with a layup 12 seconds in before Vitelli made yet another 3-pointer to cap 10 unanswered and therefore a 26-6 stretch that put University of the Sciences on top 50-34 with 8:57 remaining.

Notably, the stretch helped the Devils outscore Saint Rose 21-9 in the third quarter.

Eight straight points pulled the Golden Knights within eight with 4:27 to play, but USciences put an end to any potential comeback with seven points from Vitelli and Alex Thomas.

Those were four of Vitelli's game-high 22 points - in just 24 minutes - for the second-highest total of her career. She made 5-of-11 3-pointeres in the performance. 

University of the Sciences' 15 3-pointers as a team were its most since making 16 in the penultimate game of the 2015-16 season and its third-most since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.

Saint Rose only made six 3-pointers as USciences also held notable advantages in second chance points (19-6) and points off turnovers (15-7).

Abbonio and Walsh made four and three trifectas, respectively, to both make their way up the program's record book.

Abbonizio is now tied for fifth in USciences history with 126 career 3-pointers, while Walsh moved into sixth all-time with 120.

Notably, Walsh also tied her career-high with five assists and led the team with five rebounds.

Thomas was in double-figures with 11 points to go along with a season-best three assists.

Trisch also matched her season-high with four assists to go along with four rebounds, a team-best two steals and a block.

Notably, Giuliani (three) and Shannon May (five) each came off the bench to pull down a season-high in rebounds.

Saint Rose scored the first seven points of the contest and even led by as many as eight, 11-3, 5:16 into play, but two Vitelli 3-pointers late in the quarter cut the deficit to 12-13 entering the second.

University of the Sciences took its first lead, 20-19, when Abbonizio and Trisch made back-to-back triples, the second coming with 5:31 showing.

From there there were three lead chances in the final 3:55, the final one a layup that put Saint Rose on top 25-24 entering the locker room.

University of the Sciences plays its third game in four days when it hosts West Chester on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.