Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain Michelle Royals (Torrington, Conn.) tallied 15 points and seven assists to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 59-53 comeback win over the visiting Smith College Pioneers in women's basketball action this afternoon on Ogrodnik Court at Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity improves to 5-4 on the season with their second straight win, while Smith falls to 7-2 on the year.
The teams were knotted at six apiece to start the game, before the Pioneers went on a 9-2 run, all of their points in the stretch courtesy of senior co-captain Ellie Giles (Charlottesville, Va.) and sophomore Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H.). Smith holding a 15-8 lead, the Bantams responded with a 14-1 run of their own, ten of those points coming from sophomore Taylor Murtaugh (New York, N.Y.) and junior tri-captain Paige Greene (Owings Mills, Md.).
Smith regained a lead with a strong end to the first half and some timely three-point shooting by Drummond and junior Lizzy BelBruno (Hanover, N.H.). The Pioneers went into the intermission with a 30-24 advantage.
The second half was a see-saw battle, despite just one lead change in the half, as it was another half of runs. The score was tied at 39-39 with just under 12 minutes remaining, before a free throw by sophomore Shantel Hanniford (Nantucket, Mass.) gave Trinity a lead they would not relinquish. The Bantams clung to a lead the remainder of the way, holding a 55-50 advantage with :51 seconds to play. BelBruno came up with another big three-pointer for Smith, bringing the Pioneers within a basket.
Smith put senior tri-captain Kaitlin Ciarleglio (Waterbury, Conn.) on the foul line with :31 seconds on the clock, and the guard made one of two shots, giving Trinity a 56-53 lead. With a chance to tie the score, Smith committed an offensive foul, and eventually sent Ciarleglio back to the line, where she would put the game away by sinking another free throw shot.
Ciarleglio finished the game with 11 points and ten rebounds - her third double-double in four games - adding three assists, two steals and a block. Murtaugh finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and two steals for the Bantams. Drummond finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and a steal, while Giles posted ten points, seven rebounds, four blocks, and two steals for the Pioneers.
Trinity joined the Connecticut Humane Society, Fox Clinic and the Pet Food Pantry at this afternoon's match, raising awareness, dog food, and donations as part a "Hoops for Hounds" event.