Women's Basketball

2018-19 RECORD: 23-4; GNAC: 10-2 / GNAC TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES: 18 / ALL-GNAC PLAYERS: 32

Sutherland's Late Free Throws Lift Women's Basketball to GNAC Win

Photo by: Ron Waite/Photosportacular
Photo by: Ron Waite/Photosportacular

New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College women's basketball team erased a halftime deficit and held off a late rally to score a 67-64 victory against visiting Mount Ida on Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.

With their third straight home win, the Falcons improve to 9-6 on the year and 2-2 in league play, while the Mustangs suffered their third GNAC loss in a row to move to 2-13 overall and 0-3 in conference tilts.

In the third quarter, Albertus Magnus shot over 56 percent from the field and forced five Mount Ida turnovers to turn a two-point deficit into a five-point advantage. After the visitors scored on their first possession of the half to bring their lead to four at 30-26, the Falcons reeled off seven straight points to take a 33-30 lead. A three from Mount Ida sophomore guard Breanna Muir tied the game on the next possession and after that the two squads remained within two points of one another until the Falcons ended the quarter with four unanswered points to lead 48-43 heading into the final frame.

Over the first 90 seconds of the fourth, AMC scored six in a row before a Mustang timeout to hold an 11-point edge (their largest of the contest). The visitors fought back to pull within two with under 30 seconds remaining in regulation. Down the stretch, Albertus Magnus senior point guard Olivia Sutherland (Wallingford, Conn.) knocked down five free throws to help the hosts escape victorious.

During the first quarter, Mount Ida jumped out to an early 11-2 edge over the first four minutes of play thanks to scoring on five its first six possessions. Albertus would answer back and with a 10-4 spurt of their own to close out the frame trailing by three at 15-12 following a layup from sophomore guard Angelina Piccirillo (Naugatuck, Conn.).

AMC scored on five straight possessions early on in the second stanza to come charging back and take a four-point lead at 22-18 with with six and a half minutes left in the half. During the charge, Albertus Magnus forwards Olivia Bolden (South Windsor, Conn.) and Kelsey Pendagast (Shelton, Conn.) combined to score all 10 Falcon points in the paint. Both teams struggled from the field in the second quarter as the hosts scored just one point on a free throw over the final five minutes of play. During that stretch, the Mustangs outscored the squad, 8-1, to take a 28-26 lead into the break.

Offensively, Bolden recorded a double-double for the Falcons courtesy of a 24-point, 10-rebound performance. Piccirillo provided a spark off the bench for Albertus with a season-best 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Sutherland and Pendagast were the other Falcons in double figures, pouring in 12 and 10, respectively.

The balanced offensive attack for the Mustangs was paced by junior center Angelique Martinez with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 14 rebounds. Muir added 14 thanks to hitting a pair of shots from beyond the arc.

Albertus Magnus returns to action on Monday, Janury 18, with a home conference clash against Rivier at 1:00 pm. The tilt with the Raiders closes a season-long four-game homestand for the Falcons.

For the latest information on the women's basketball team and Albertus Magnus athletics, follow AMCAthletics on Twitter and visit AlbertusFalcons.com.