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Pfeiffer, Hore Lead Women's Basketball to First ECC Win in 2021 Finale

Danielle Hore vs. Mercy on Feb. 27, 2021.
Danielle Hore vs. Mercy on Feb. 27, 2021.

The D'Youville women's basketball team captured another milestone victory Saturday afternoon, completing the 2020-21 campaign with its first ever East Coast Conference win, a 78-70 triumph over Mercy College at the College Center Gymnasium on the campus of D'Youville College

Carried by a well-rounded game from their backcourt, Saturday's victory improved the Saints to 2-6 overall and 1-5 in league play while the guest Mavericks dropped to a 1-7 mark in the ECC and 1-7 overall.  

Junior forward Riley Riedel found sophomore guard/forward Haley Kirisits open for the game's first bucket. Later in the quarter, Kirisits linked up twice with sophomore guard Elizabeth Bradley, the first a two-point jumper and the second was good from beyond the three-point arc, putting the Saints ahead by five points. Sophomore forward Sarah Wittek added back-to-back layups and a free throw to keep D'Youville ahead by five at the end of the opening quarter.  

Sophomore guard Sara Pfeiffer went to work, opening the second period with two consecutive jumpers and added a layup to inflate the Saints advantage to nine points at 19-10. Ahead by seven points with just under four minutes remaining in the half, the Mavericks made their move. Guard Briana Barnard put back a missed three for two points before guard Katie Wall added back-to-back threes to draw within three points of the Saints. In the final minute of the half, Mercy completed a 15-6 run thanks to another lay in and then Wall added her fourth triple of the half to claim a 35-33 advantage heading into the halftime break.  

The Saints countered to open the third quarter with a 12-3 run, including fastbreak layup from junior guard Danielle Hore to reclaim a one-point lead, an advantage the Saints wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the game. Later in the quarter, Pfeiffer helped inflate the D'Youville advantage to 12 points at 60-48, assisting Bradley and cashing in herself on back-to-back threes. 

Pfeiffer added another layup to give the Saints a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, their largest of the game. The Mavericks hung around in the final period, outscoring the Saints, 21-18, but it was too little, too late as the Saints converted on six of their eight attempts (75.0 percent) from the charity stripe to secure ECC win No. 1 for head coach Danny Glover. 

Notables – Four Saints posted double-figure scoring efforts in their first home win at the NCAA Division II level ... D'Youville was paced by Pfeiffer (23 points, 9/24 FG), followed up by Kirisits (12 points, 6/11 FG), Bradley (12 points, 4/10 FG), and Wittek (11 points, 5/9 FG) ... Hore added nine and Riedel chipped in eight points towards the D'Youville total … Hore nearly collected a triple-double with nine rebounds and eight assists and she was a pest on defense, picking up four steals. 

As a team, the Saints shot nearly 40 percent from the field (31/78 FG) and cashed in eight times from beyond the arc, including four from Bradley ... D'Youville turned 19 Maverick turnovers into 28 points and raced down the court for 22 fast break points. 

Three Mavericks landed in double figures paced by a game high from Wall (26 points, 10/23 FG), followed by center Jamie Waldron (12 points, 6/12 FG), and guard Asya Brandon (13 points, 4/12 FG) ... Waldron picked up a game-high 18 rebounds on her way to a double-double as she helped the Mavericks edge the Saints on the boards, 51-44.