UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica College women's basketball team led by as many as 18 points in the first half but visiting St. John Fisher College managed to outscore the Pioneers 41-23 in the final 20 minutes to earn a 77-69 Empire 8 Conference victory on Saturday. Four different Pioneers scored in double-figures including Katie McGee (12), Meghan Fiore (12), Alyssa Filkins (11) and Marissa Kahane (11).
The Pioneers (5-7, 0-2 Empire 8) will look to snap a five game slide Friday night when they travel to Stevens Institute of Technology for an E8 contest at 6 p.m. Fisher (5-7, 1-1 Empire 8) has now won two of their last three contests.
Hot 3-point shooting (8-of-19) in the first 20 minutes helped the Pioneers go on a dominating 27-9 run in a span of less than ten minutes to take a commanding 46-28 lead just 2:53 before the half. It was at that point that Fisher really began its come back. The Cardinals were able to cut the 18 point deficit to just ten points, by way of an 8-0 run, in the final 1:58 of the half.
With UC leading by 13 points early in the second half, the visitors exploded for a 16-3 run in less than five minutes to knot the score at 55-55 with 12:44 to go in the game. Fisher would not relinquish the advantage for the remainder of the contest and they went on a 15-5 run to take a ten point lead with 6:19 left in the game.
Utica was able to cut that lead to five with 3:20 to go, but that was as close as they would get, as the Cardinals earned the eight point win.
Fisher was led by Camaryn Beckner's 18 point, seven rebound effort, while senior Meghan Soja, of nearby Whitesboro, NY, knocked down 7-of-10 shots for 17 points. Soja also added six rebounds and four steals. Point guard Portia Velasco registered 15 points for the Cardinals.
Sophomore Bridgette Greenwald came off the bench and tallied a career-high eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor for the Pioneers. Fiore added eight rebounds, while McGee tallied a game-high six assists. Brittany Baudanza netted eight points for UC.