From University of Rochester Athletics
The University of Rochester stormed back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to post a 61-58 victory over Thomas More College in the championship game of the Chuck Resler Invitational at the Louis Alexander Palestra.
Rochester entered the game ranked #21 by D3hoops.com and #22 by the WBCA. The Yellowjackets were among Others Receiving Votes by Women's DIII News. Thomas Moore was #3 by the WBCA, #5 by D3hoops.com, and #2 by Women's DIII News.
Al Leslie and Lauren Deming scored 20 points apiece for Rochester (2-0). Leslie added 11 rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots, and three steals. Deming had nine rebounds and one block.
Abby Owings led Thomas More with 19 points, four rebounds, and two steals in 34 minutes. Madison Temple scored 14 points with eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 34 minutes.
Those four were on the All-Tournament Team (Deming was the MVP) along with Ali Spayde of Calvin College and Erin Risner of Capital University. Capital defeated Calvin, 63-55, for third place.
Leslie and Deming did most of their scoring in the fourth quarter. Thomas More held a 51-37 lead through three periods. Leslie scored six early points in the final quarter, but a putback by Emily Schultz gave the Saints (1-1) a 56-43 lead with 7:08 to play. It would be TMC's last field goal of the game.
Rochester ran off 11 straight points: a fast break by Leslie, then a putback by her. Brenna James sank a three-pointer from left wing, Leslie sank 1 of 2 from the line, and Deming hit a trey from the top of the key. That got Rochester within 56-54 with 3:50 left. Temple made two foul shots (58-54) 30 seconds later.
After a series of turnovers at each end, Leslie caught a pass in the lane and pitched it out to Deming at the top of the key. She sank her second trey of the game, making it 58-57, with 1:58 left.
Both teams missed chances. Temple's three-point shot was off the mark with 47 seconds left. Shelby Rupp rebounded, but Leslie took the ball away with 40 seconds left. After a UR timeout, Deming sank a three-pointer from the right of the circle with 18.9 left. That put Rochester ahead, 60-58.
Taylor Jolly missed a trey for TMC and Temple grabbed the miss. Schultz missed a layup and Leslie fought for the rebound. She drew a foul, then made one of two from the line with four seconds to play. She missed the second shot. Owings rebounded, rushed to just shy of midcourt, but her desperation shot was off the mark as the horn sounded.
For a good portion of the game, though, very little was off the mark for the Saints. TMC pulled away from a 14-14 tie in the second quarter. A 15-6 surge by the Saints put them ahead, 29-20. Owings scored seven of the 11. It was 29-22 at halftime. In the third quarter, they kept at it. Seven points from Temple, a trey from Owings, and a baseline 12 footer by Shelby Rupp pushed the guests ahead, 41-26, midway through the third. The lead grew to 17, 49-32, on a steal and layup by Owings.
Through those first three quarters, Rochester shot a collective 11 of 43 (25.6%). In the decisive fourth quarter, UR shot 57.1% (8 of 14, including 4-4 outside the arc after 1-16 through the first three periods).
The loss for Thomas More was the first in the regular season for the Saints since November 23, 2012.