Anthony Cittadino, Staff Writer
The Utica College women’s basketball team had two conference road games this past weekend in Elmira and Houghton and also hosted St. John Fisher for the “Play 4 Kay Game” Tuesday night. On Friday, the Pioneers won a close one in Elmira 69-63. The following day UC traveled to Houghton as the Highlanders beat UC for the second time this season, 73-52. After losing to Fisher by 32 last week, the Pioneers looked for redemption but still fell short in a close one as the Cardinals handed UC its 14th loss of the season.
Despite entering halftime down by nine, the Pioneers regained their confidence and outscored Elmira 47-32 in the second half. Freshman Rachel Hunter came off the bench as she stuffed the stat sheet with a career-high 18 points and also grabbed five rebounds. Hunter was happy with the win.
“We know that we can play with all the teams in our conference,” she said. “We are a skilled team and when we work together, games always go well.”
Hunter also had help as sophomore Ashley Mayo and senior Mary Miceli added 13 points each. Sophomore Alaine Tripp recorded her third double-double of her career with 11 points and ten rebounds.
The following day the Pioneers traveled two hours to Houghton College for another conference matchup. The Highlanders outscored UC in every quarter. With a comfortable 13-point lead at half, Houghton had no plans on slowing down as they ended the game winning by 21.
UC did improve in the second half but still was not enough to stop the strong offensive performance Houghton put on. Sophomore Ashelyne Babb led the Pioneers with eight points, six rebounds and shot 44 percent from the floor. Tripp netted a team-high 12 points and junior Calypso Carty scored six points and shot 50 percent from the field.
“We just have to come back together and work on improving…After a tough loss, we have to keep looking forward,” Carty said. “We lost, so now we have to come back and work that much harder to get the next couple of games.”
After a challenging weekend, the Pioneers returned home for the “Play 4 Kay Game,” hosting conference rival St. John Fisher. The first half ended with a close score of 30-27 with Fisher on top. After half, the Pioneers came out red-hot and took their biggest lead of the night with three minutes left in the third quarters, as they led Fisher by eight.
However, the Cardinals scored 26 points in the fourth quarter to finish strong and win by nine. Fisher has sole possession of second place in the Empire 8 standings at 11-1.
Miceli scored a team high 22 points in 36 minutes. Babb also had a big night with 12 points, four boards and four steals. Carty shot extremely well from the charity stipe hitting nine of her 10 attempts and also pulling down eight rebounds. Despite the loss Carty was optimistic about the outcome.
“The game against Fisher really showed how good of a team we actually are,” she said. “In games past we have a few hiccups here or there, but at last nights game, we played as one unit. We bailed each other out, and we all played with a lot of heart.”
The “Play 4 Kay Game” is an event to raise awareness for breast cancer. UC has been hosting this event since 2009 and as of this year they have raised $2,400. The Pioneers now get ready to take on Empire 8 leading Stevens Institute of Technology Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.