Rochester Athletics

With senior Melissa Alwardt playing her last game in front of the Palestra crowd, Rochester defeated Washington University, 71-61. Jodie Luther was the leading scorer for the Yellowjackets, as they improved to 7-4 in conference, 17-5 overall. Washington falls to 9-2 in UAA play, 18-4 overall.

Alwardt was honored before the game for her decorated career with the Yellowjackets. The senior forward, who hails from nearby Greece, N.Y., has recorded over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a Rochester uniform.

The game was close in the early going. Washington took an early 8-4 lead on a Kathryn Berger 3, but Rochester fought right back. Michelle Ketcham and Alwardt hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Rochester a 14-11 lead with 12:59 left.

Rochester continued their strong play, as they went on a 12-2 run to close out the first half. Although Kathryn Berger hit a field goal to give Washington a 23-22 lead, Danielle McNabb’s 3-pointer on the next possession put the Yellowjackets ahead 25-23. Alwardt led Rochester with 8 points in the first half, 5 which came in the final two minutes of the half. She hit a layup with 2:02 left, followed by a 3-pointer 20 seconds later to put Rochester ahead 34-25 at halftime.

The Yellowjackets carried their strong play into the beginning of the second half. Jodie Luther was fouled on a layup. After adding the foul shot, Rochester was up 39-28 a minute into the second half. Two minutes later, it was Luther again, as her jumper gave the ‘Jackets a 43-32 lead with 16:55 to play.

Washington started to work their way back into the game with strong play on the defensive end, as they held the Yellowjackets without a field goal over a four minute span. On the offensive side, Dani Hoover hit a 3-pointer to cut Rochester’s lead to 50-42 with 12:45 to go. An Alex Hoover jumper, followed by a Claire Schaeperkoetter steal and Brianne Monahan layup made the score Rochester 55, Washington 46 with 9:26 to go. Two foul shots by Berger with 6:18 to go brought the Bears within 7. Dani Hoover was fouled on a layup with 4:32 to go. After sinking the foul shot, the Yellowjacket lead was down to six, 59-53.

Ultimately, the six-point margin was the closest the Bears would get, as Rochester put the game away with a run of their own. Luther’s jumper in the paint put Rochester ahead 61-53 with 4:06 to play. The Bears had a last gasp attempt at a comeback, with Dani Hoover’s 3-pointer at the 1:56 mark brought the Yellowjacket lead down to 65-56. However, a pair of foul shots by Luther, and a 3-pointer by Kristyn Wright sealed the victory for Rochester.