Saturday women: NYU holds off Kean

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Amy Harioka made four free throws in the final 16 seconds to help NYU hold off Kean and remain unbeaten.
NYU athletics file photo

Teams ranked as highly as unbeaten No. 1 Thomas More and as far down the Division III pecking order as St. Scholastica and Fontbonne each started off the brand-new year with a shiny, brand-new win on Saturday.

The highest-ranked Division III women's basketball team to get a challenge on Saturday was No. 4 NYU, which led Kean by 22 in the third quarter but had that advantage melt away to just one point with 49 seconds left in the game. The Cougars, 8-3, went on a 28-7 run to pull to within 69-68, and NYU (9-0) missed a 3-pointer on its next possession, but the Violets got the offensive rebound and Amy Harioka hit four free throws in the final 16 seconds. Megan Dawe led NYU with 17 points.

"We had a pretty big lead, but we kind of let go a little on defense so they took advantage of that," Harioka said. "It was definitely a good challenge for us, but I think having a veteran team helped us find a way to win."

Marissa Pezzopane scored 14 and Victoria Allen added 12 as Augustana rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to knock off No. 8 Wheaton 59-56. The Vikings finished the game on a 17-4 run. It's Wheaton's second consecutive loss after an 8-1 start.

Khadijah Sayyid and Shellie Kaniut combined for 31 points and Emory made their performance stand up with a strong defensive effort in knocking off No. 20 Maryville 59-51. Eagles won for the seventh time in their last eight outings and upped their record to 8-2 while the Scots slipped to 8-2.

No. 17 Scranton remained unbeaten and improved to 2-0 in the Landmark as Sarah Payonk scored 18 and Bridgette Mann added 14 in a 70-50 win vs. Elizabethtown. The Lady Royals are 11-0 under first-year head coach Trevor Woodruff, who was hired just before classes started after a protracted coaching search.

Nobody played more than 21 minutes for Thomas More as the No. 1 Saints outscored Thiel 63-18 over the middle two quarters en route to a 102-38 win. The leading scorer was Samantha Cady, who came off the bench for 17 points in 10 minutes.

Rose-Hulman's Cassidy Cain banked home a game-winning 23-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to lead the Fightin' Engineers past Transylvania 61-58. The Pioneers (6-5, 2-2 HCAC) scored their final point on a free throw with 1:05 left and never had the ball again as Rose-Hulman (8-3, 2-2) collected two offensive rebounds and Cain canned her shot on the third-chance possession.

Union ralled from a 17-point halftime deficit, scoring 46 of its 63 points in the second half to defeat Clarkson 63-57 in the teams' Liberty League opener. Union took the team's first lead of the second half at 7:48 in the fourth quarter, 46-45 as junior forward Erin Lyons hit a lay-up. Union used an 18-4 run to take control of the contest and never trailed again. 

Westfield State set its program record for points for the second time on the season and broke the century mark for the third time as the Owls flew past St. Joseph (Conn.) 119-69. Westfield had six players finish in double-figures in scoring with Jill Valley and Forbasaw Nkamebo each reaching 18 points. Lucy Barrett added 15. The Owls improved to 6-4.

Down as many as eight points in the final quarter, Regis used a 15-0 run over the final 6:03 of the contest to secure a 65-58 comeback victory over St. Joseph's (Maine). Regis improved to 7-1, after starting the season with a loss.

Fontbonne won its second consecutive game after a 1-7 start and pulled to 2-2 in the SLIAC as the Griffins defeated Westminster (Mo.) 73-67. Erika Kuhn and Jessica Jordan scored 17 apiece. St. Scholastica outscored Crown 19-8 in the second quarter and held off the Storm the rest of the way in a 62-50 win. The Saints improved to 4-8, 2-2 UMAC, while Crown fell to 1-11, 0-4.