Courtesy of RITathletics.com
With first place in the Liberty League at stake, the RIT (10-1, 5-0 Liberty League) women’s basketball team went on the road to and defeated No. 22 Ithaca College (9-3, 4-1 Liberty League), 77-66 in overtime Tuesday evening. Junior Cori Okada (Fullerton, CA/Troy) led RIT with a career-high 28 points, including 10 in overtime.
“We brought the scouting report to the floor and really defended well tonight,” said RIT head coach Amy Reed. “I am so proud of our team. We played a full 45 minutes tonight.”
RIT shot 44.6 percent from the floor on 29-of-65 shooting. The Tigers went 5-of-21 from behind the arc, and made 14-of-18 from the foul line. Okada led all scorers with 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor and 8-of-9 shooting from the foul line. Jessica Glaz (Rockaway Beach, NY/Scholars Academy) tallied 16 points, while Sabrina Wolfe (Troy, NY/Troy) chipped in 13 points. Okada and Tara Lynch (Green Township, NJ/Newton) each grabbed seven rebounds, while Glaz led the way with four assists.
Julie Yacovani led Ithaca with 14 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Cassidy O’Malley tallied 18 points, while Grace Cannon scored 14 points for the Bombers, who shot 29.6 percent from the field.
RIT led 18-12 after the first quarter. Okada and Wolfe each scored six points in the quarter to pace the Tigers. The duo drained back-to-back 3-pointers late in the quarter, giving RIT a 12-10 lead. That started a 12-2 RIT run over the final 3:13 of the quarter to open up a six-point lead.
The Tigers opened the second quarter on a 10-3 run, taking a 28-15 lead on a 3-pointer from Glaz with 8:32 left. RIT led by as many as 17 points in the quarter, taking a 32-15 lead on a layup by Okada with 5:52 to play.
Ithaca answered back with an 11-1 run, cutting the RIT lead to 33-26 on a 3-pointer from Allie Tunick with 1:33 to play in the half. Wolfe gave the Tigers a 36-26 lead with her long range 3-pointer with just under a minute to play. After Tunick converted a pair of free throws, Glaz scored on a runner in the lane as the buzzer sounded to give RIT a 38-28 lead at halftime.
RIT shot 41.2 percent in the first half on 14-of-34 shooting. Okada led the Tigers with 12 points, while Wolfe chipped in 11 points off the bench. Yacovani led Ithaca with five points and eight rebounds.
Ithaca came back in the third quarter, outscoring RIT 17-12. Amanda Olsen (Glen Mills, PA/Archmere Academy) scored the first four points of the quarter, extending the RIT lead to 42-28 on her layup with 8:45 to play in the quarter. The Bombers outscored RIT 17-6, cutting the RIT lead to 48-45 on a 3-pointer by Cannon with 31 seconds to play in the quarter. Okada laid the ball in at the buzzer to give RIT a 50-45 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bombers scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, taking a 53-50 lead on a 3-pointer by Cannon with 8:20 left. The Tigers answered, scoring the next four points. Taking a 54-53 lead on a Glaz layup with 6:26 to play. Okada made it six straight for RIT with her bucket that gave RIT a 56-53 lead.
RIT took a 61-59 lead when Glaz drove to the bucket and scored with 2:21 remaining in regulation. O’Malley tied the score with 2:04 to play, converting a pair of free throws to tie the score at 61-61. O’Malley gave the Bombers a 63-61 lead when she laid it in with 1:24 to play. Lynch tied the score on RIT’s next possession when she converted a pair of free throws with 59 seconds remaining.
RIT got a big stop defensively with time running out in regulation. Glaz tied up the ball, giving RIT possession. The Tigers could not convert the long in-bounds play with eight seconds to play, sending the game to overtime tied 63-63.
The Tigers outscored Ithaca 14-3 in overtime. Okada led the charge, scoring 10 of the Tigers 14 points in the overtime to put the game away for RIT.
Ithaca held a 50-39 edge on the boards, but turned the ball over 16 times to just 12 for RIT. The Tigers also had 10 steals.
The Tigers have now won 10 straight games against Liberty League foes dating back to last season. RIT’s 10-1 start is the best in program history.
Tonight’s game was a rematch of the 2017 NCAA First Round game, which Ithaca, then a member of the Empire 8, won 65-62.
RIT returns to action on Friday, Jan. 12 when the Tigers host Skidmore College at 6 p.m. on the floor of Clark Gymnasium.