Kush Nets 1,000th Point, Herons Head to Title tilt

Submitted by William Smith College

CANTON, N.Y. – Junior Kristen Kush recorded a double-double and scored her 1,000 career point to lead William Smith basketball team to a 76-64 victory over Union in a Liberty League tournament semifinal game at St. Lawrence’s Burkman Gymnasium tonight. The Herons, 16-10 overall, will face either top seed St. Lawrence or the No. 4 seed Vassar tomorrow at 3 p.m. for the championship.

Kush logged 13 points and grabbed 11 boards for her seventh double-double this year. She now has 1,002 career points. Sophomore Sydni Salvatore also had a double-double, scoring a career-high 20 points, and matching a career-high with 10 rebounds. Senior Mollie Danahy scored 12 points, added a game-high four steals, and dished out four assists. First-year Erin O’Brien added 11 for the Herons.

William Smith shot 47 percent for the night while holding the Dutchwomen to 37 percent from the floor. The Herons made 9-of-13 from the free throw line, and Union made 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. Both teams had 37 rebounds.

The Herons made 13-of-25 from the 3-point arc. The 13 threes match a William Smith record for 3-pointers in a game. The Herons have made as many threes on two other occasions, most recently on Jan. 9, 1999 against Rutgers-Newark.

Union was led by Lauren McCormick, who scored 20 points in her final contest. Her career total is 1,026 points, which ranks her 10th all-time in Union scoring history. Leah Pepe wrapped up with 12 points and Brittney Kenney also scored 12 along with a team-high six rebounds.

The Dutchwomen led 7-6 after a 3-pointer by Lindsay Hage with 13:21 remaining in the first half. The Herons went on a 21-6 run for a 27-13 lead after Erin O’Brien hit two free throws with 4:49 remaining. Salvatore hit two 3-pointers during that run. She made 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Union came back in the next 2:48 with an 8-0 run to pull to within six at 27-21. McCormick had six points in that spurt, but the Herons got a layup from Salvatore, and after a 3-pointer by first-year Sasha Borenstein with one minute remaining, William Smith took a 32-21 lead into the half. Borenstein finished with nine points, going 3-of-7 from the three.

William Smith got up by as many as 19 in the second half, at 46-27 after a 3-pointer by O’Brien with 16:09 left in the half. The Dutchwomen went on a 17-5 run in a span of 5:17 and pulled to within seven at 1:55 on a Pepe three. Union was down by six with 1:08 left on a free throw by Kenney, but as the Dutchwomen fouled looking to get the ball back in the final minute, the Herons made six free throws en route to the victory.