Oneonta 35, Norwich 27
ONEONTA – Oneonta played the role of spoiler Monday night thwarting the Tornado’s bid at a share of the STAC Central Division title.
The ‘Jackets held Norwich scoreless the final 3 1/2 minutes, and finished the contest on a 9-0 run – all on free throws – to pull away at the end.
Mariah Ruff scored all 12 of her points in the second half, and made four free throws in the final 16 seconds. Kelsey Baker added 11 points, and was 5-for-6 from the charity stripe during the decisive salvo. Baker also nailed a 16-foot jumper at the four-minute mark that had her team in front 26-24.
“I’ve seen Oneonta play four times, and this was the fifth. This was by far their best defensive performance,” said Norwich coach Josh Bennett. “I thought their bigs – 14 (Baker) and 30 (Natalie Vanderlaan-Meyering) were a real key. They made some shots, and that’s something we didn’t expect.”
Norwich took its last lead with 3:29 to play when Breanna Cashman dished to senior Bryn Loomis in the right corner, who buried her third trifecta of the second half to give her club a 27-26 edge.