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Pioneers Win Tight Battle over Vikings

April Acosta races down the court

The Alfred State women's basketball team won a tight 87-84 battle at Villa Maria on Wednesday evening. The game featured 13 ties and nine lead changes. 

The Vikings held a 23-18 lead after a back and forth 1st quarter. The Pioneers took a 35-30 lead five minutes into the 2nd quarter but Villa rallied back and led 44-39 at the break. The blue & gold cut into the lead and trailed by only two, 66-64, heading into the final ten minutes. The 4th quarter featured six ties including a 83-83 tie with just over two minutes left. After a made foul shot by Bianca Brown gave Villa their final lead of the night, Kelsey Shaulis (Ovid/South Seneca) answered with a basket to give the Pioneers the 85-84 lead. Neither team could capitalize on their next possessions until Janae Gibson (Bronx/Pelham Prep) hit two of four foul shots in the final seconds to seal the victory.

Four Pioneers finished in double figures in the team's seventh victory of the season. Catherine Bialecki (Alfred Almond) and Gibson both recorded double-doubles. Bialecki finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds while Gibson had 20 points and 17 boards. Shaulis finished with 16, Michayla Salatel (Geneseo) had 14 points and seven assists, and April Acosta (Bronx/Evander Childs) chipped in nine points and and seven assists.

The blue & gold shot 42% from the field, connected on three 3-pointers, and hit 62.5% of their foul shots. The team held a 55 to 40 advantage on the boards including a 28 to 12 advantage on the offensive glass.

Villa (18-7) was led by the trio of Shaquana Owens, Brown, and Nina Cray. Owens finished with 27 points and 12 boards, Brown had 22 points, and Cray had 20. The Vikings shot 48.5% from the field, hit 52.6% (10 for 19) from beyond the arc, and was 8 for 16 from the foul line.

The Pioneers return to the Orvis Activities Center on Saturday when they begin a two-game weekend homestand. They take on SUNY Delhi at 2 p.m. on Saturday and then host SUNY Canton at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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