Dominant Fourth Quarter Lifts Union to Postseason Berth

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POTSDAM, N.Y. – The Union College women's basketball team outscored Clarkson University 20-3 in the fourth quarter to provide the final momentum swing in a back-and-forth affair, as the Dutchwomen left Alumni Gymnasium with a 56-44 win over the Golden Knights on Saturday afternoon.
The win clinches a postseason berth for Union (14-7, 9-6 Liberty League), who remains 1.5 games back of William Smith College for fourth place with a game in hand. The Dutchwomen face off with William Smith and RIT next weekend with a chance to finish anywhere from third to sixth in the conference standings.
Seniors Nicole Conley and Sophie Borg again led the Dutchwomen in scoring, with Conley hitting all eight shots from the line on the way to a team-high 14 points, and Borg chipping in 11. Junior Joana Santos also had a good all-around effort with seven points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while junior Elly Vaughanadded six points and 10 caroms as well.
In a game with multiple big momentum swings, the see-saw shifted one last time in the fourth. Headed into the frame down 41-36, Union held Clarkson (7-15, 4-11 Liberty League) without a point for the first 8:13 while scoring 13 straight points to snatch back the lead for good. Baskets from Santos and freshman Laura Vinton got the visitors back within a point before sophomore Corina Lindsay hit the team's first and only three-pointer of the game to put the Dutchwomen back ahead at 43-41 with 6:19 left.
The Golden Knights scored their first points of the quarter on a Hannah Earl three-point play with 1:46 remaining to end the drought, but back-to-back layups from freshman Darby Leid ballooned the lead back to nine (53-44) with under a minute left as the Dutchwomen emerged with the win.
In the final frame, Union shot 57.1 percent (8 of 14) while limiting Clarkson to 1-of-14 shooting (7.1 percent), including an 0-for-9 effort from beyond the arc. For the game, Union shot 40.0 percent (22 of 55) from the field and held Clarkson to a 29.5 percent (18 of 61) success rate.
Union led by a 17-14 margin early in the second quarter before Clarkson went on a 12-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 26-17 with 4:26 on the clock, with 10 of those points coming from Molly Stewart. The Golden Knights kept the lead for the remainder of the stanza, heading into the half with a 31-24 advantage.
The third quarter was defined by two very distinct runs. The Dutchwomen got back in the game by holding Clarkson scoreless for 5:34 and using a 10-0 run to regain the lead at 34-33, led by Borg and Vaughan with back-to-back buckets. However, it was then Union's turn to go over five minutes without a point, as the home team took a five-point lead into the fourth.
But there was one more swing of the pendulum remaining in the fourth, which allowed the Dutchwomen to complete the North Country sweep and keep their hopes of a home postseason game alive.
Union will close out the regular season with three games next week, beginning with the team's final road game at local rival Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Troy.