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COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Vegas not kind to Vassar

LAS VEGAS – Looks like a trip to Sin City probably cost the Vassar College women’s basketball team its national ranking.

The Brewers started the season 6-0, including an upset of then-No. 3 Montclair State, but when they resumed their season after the holiday break at the Vegas Hoopla Tournament, it’s been consecutive losses.

After falling to now-No. 3 Amherst on Saturday, Vassar dropped an 82-74 decision to Gwynedd Mercy University on Monday afternoon, 82-74, despite getting a season-best 28 points from senior guard Cydni Matsuoka.

The story of the contest was the sniper-like shooting precision by the Griffins, who finished the game with 13 made three-pointers, firing at a 61.9 percent (13-21) clip. That overshadowed an amazing game from the Vassar preseason All-American, who finished 10-of-21 from the floor to go with six rebounds, seven assists and three steals. With her helper total, Matsuoka now trails the all-time assist leader Erin Harper by one.

The contest didn’t start out well for VC (6-2), as the Griffins (4-6) opened the game on a 12-2 run, capped at the 16:13 mark of the opening half with a Kelsey Yori jumper. The Brewers bounced back to knot the game on three occasions, finally taking their first advantage of the contest at 26-24 after a Rose Serafini jumper.

Gwynedd Mercy jumped right back out and front, finishing the half on a 17-5 spurt in taking a 41-31 lead into the halftime break. The Griffins shot 53.1 percent from the floor in the opening half, making five triples.

After the intermission, GMU watched its lead dwindle to five at 44-39 before going on a 17-4 run to take control. The second half was fueled by eight three-pointers for Gwynedd Mercy, though Matsuoka was amazing in the closing period. The Vassar senior scored 24 points in the second, making four of her seven shots from deep.

Senior forward Hannah Senftleber had 15 points, nine rebounds and made all of her nine free throws for VC, while Caitlin Drakeley added a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Michelle Foreman came off the bench to score seven points, and Serafini contributed six points, four boards and nine rejections. Her nine blocks tied the school record for denials in a game. All eight dressed Brewers scored on Monday afternoon.

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