Senior Amanda Kubitz (Spencerport, N.Y./E.J. Wilson) scored a career-high 20 points to lift the Keuka College women's basketball team to a 62-50 win over the College of St. Elizabeth (N.J.) Saturday afternoon.
Kubitz shot 66.7 percent (6 of 9), including hitting 80 percent of her '3s' (4 of 5) as Keuka (8-11, 7-7 NEAC) won its fifth straight to remain in sole possession of third place in the North Eastern Athletic Conference's (NEAC) North Division.
The top three teams from each division, along with the fourth-place squad that wins the crossover contest, advance into the NEAC postseason tournament, Feb. 28-March 1.
"The ball felt really good coming off my hand today," said Kubitz, whose previous career scoring day was 15 points during a win over Wells College Jan. 16, 2013.
"I was never a selfish player, but I really felt like I needed to execute today to help my team win. And if it wasn't me executing, it's one of the other girls scoring in double figures. But it felt really good today to get this win. We're clicking right now."
Kubitz added six rebounds with three steals, classmate Brittany Hadley (Jasper, N.Y./Jasper-Troupsburg) added 12 points, and sophomore Katie Stuart (Tupper Lake, N.Y./Tupper Lake) added 11 points with 6 rebounds and 2 steals for the Green and Gold.
Keuka, which is currently one game ahead of both Cazenovia College and Wells College for third place in the NEAC, has four conference games remaining.
Against the Eagles (11-10, 9-7), Keuka shot 42.9 percent (21 of 49) while holding St. Elizabeth to 35.7 percent shooting (15 of 42), including 29.4 percent (5 of 17) in the second half.
"We've been working a lot on defense and we know all of the wrinkles of our defense," Kubitz said. "We're really playing well together. Today, we had to get up on their shooters and I think we did a nice job executing on that, especially in the second half when they didn't get too many good looks."
Sophomore Samantha Blum (Niskayuna, N.Y./Colonie) snared nine rebounds to go with 4 points, 2 steals and 2 assists, while senior Erica Pendrak (New York Mills, N.Y./New York Mills) added 7 assists with 5 points and 4 rebounds, and junior Mackenzie Cole (Ogdensburg, N.Y./Ogdensburg Free Academy) had eight points in the win.
First-year head coach Sarah Gaffney coached barefooted during the game as part of Keuka's inaugural Samaritan's Feet game. Gaffney coached barefooted after the team decided to raise money and awareness for Samaritan's Feet, a national organization that helps needy children living in impoverished nations across the world get access to proper footwear.
Keuka led 23-19 after Cole buried a jumper with 6:42 remaining in the first half, but St. Elizabeth scored the next six points and led 25-23 after Alexandria Garcia made a layup with 5:14 remaining.
The Green and Gold closed out the half on a 10-0 run. Cole and Stuart each made '3s', and Blum and Hadley each hit layups as the Green and Gold took a 33-25 lead into halftime.
The lead shrunk to 41-36 after Ashley Pledger (22 points) knocked down a triple halfway through the second, but freshman Meqala MacDonald (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) sparked Keuka on an 8-0 run. MacDonald hit a layup, Pendrak hit a '3', Hadley hit a free throw, and Stuart swished a pair of free throws for a 49-36 lead with 7:06 to play.
A 7-0 run from St. Elizabeth trimmed the lead to 49-43, but Keuka answered with an 8-0 run as Kubitz hit four free throws, Hadley made a pair of free throws, and Stuart hit a layup as the Green and Gold led 57-43 with 2:19 remaining and held on for the win.
The Green and Gold host Penn College at 1 p.m. Sunday on Senior Day. Hadley, Kubitz and Pendrak will be honored for their hard work and dedication to the women's basketball program.