Wolves Win to Secure NEAC Berth

Senior Katie Stuart (14) had 23 points and 18 rebounds in her final game at the JMW Center -- Photo by Abdul Alhumayni
Senior Katie Stuart (14) had 23 points and 18 rebounds in her final game at the JMW Center -- Photo by Abdul Alhumayni

KEUKA PARK, N.Y. – The Keuka College Women's Basketball team qualified for the 2016-17 North Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament with a 72-67 victory over the College of St. Elizabeth on Saturday.

Keuka College (14-9, 11-7 NEAC) finishes as the third seed in the North Division. They will face the second seed, Morrisville State College, on Tuesday, February 21 at Morrisville.

Senior Katie Stuart had an emphatic ending in her final home game at Keuka College. Stuart led the Wolves with 23 points and a career-best 18 rebounds, both game-highs. Adding to the scoring for the Wolves was Lauren Anten with 16 points and Tiffany Binion with 10 points. The offense flowed through freshman guard Sam Laranjo. Laranjo tied her personal high with nine assists in the win.

The two teams traded points and the lead for most of the first quarter. After St. Elizabeth took a 13-12 lead, Arianna DeNault responded with a three of her own to give the Wolves a 15-13 lead with less than a minute left in the quarter. The Eagles made a late free throw, but Keuka led 15-14 after one.

St. Elizabeth scored the first six points of the second quarter and held Keuka without a field goal for 3:31 to start the quarter. Katie Stuart made a pair of free throws to get the Wolves on the board, and then drained a three to make it 22-20 St. Elizabeth. That three-pointer was piggy-backed by a jumper by DeNault and a pair of baskets by Anten as the Wolves went scored nine unanswered to take a 26-22 lead halfway through the second. The Eagles responded but Keuka College carried a two-point lead, 32-30, into the locker rooms at halftime.

Within minutes of the third quarter, St. Elizabeth tied the game and regained the lead. They led 37-36 with six minutes left in the third. Tiffany Binion made back-to-back baskets in the paint for the Green and Gold to regain the lead. The two teams traded baskets and a three by the Eagles gave them a 46-44 edge with 2:50 left in the quarter. However the Wolves went on another run. Keuka College scored the final 10 points of the quarter to lead 54-46 going to the fourth.

The Wolves would push their lead out to double-digits in the early moments of the fourth. St. Elizabeth fought back to make it close late. With 10 seconds left, the Eagles made a three to draw the margin to three, 70-67. The Wolves turned over the ensuing inbounds pass with seven seconds left. However the St. Elizabeth shooter stepped out of bounds on their inbounds pass to give the Wolves back the ball. Keuka broke the press and scored a layup at the buzzer to defeat the College of St. Elizabeth 72-67.