ERIE, Pa. – The Rochester Institute of Technology women's basketball team shot 48.4 percent from the floor in the first half to take a 44-27 lead and hold on for a 69-44 victory over Penn State Behrend in the opening round of the Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday night.
The Tigers (1-0) had three players in double-figure scoring, led by Merissa Maiorano with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ashlynn Palmitesso hit three triples for 14 points and Julia Bender added 10 points to help RIT advance to the championship game tomorrow against Washington & Jefferson.
The Lions (0-1) Brittany Kiger (White Oak, PA/McKeesport) registered a career-high 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the team in each category. Ally Burke (Erie, PA/Mercyhurst Prep) tallied eight points, seven rebounds and four assists.
RIT started the season opener with an 11-0 run in the first three minutes thanks to a pair of three pointers by Palmitesso. Kiger made a pair of free throws on back-to-back trips to cut the double-digit lead to singles.
A few more triples from the Tigers pushed the lead to 25-10 at the halfway mark of the first stanza. RIT did not let up and built a comfortable 17-point lead by intermission.
Kiger scored seven of Behrend's 17 points in the second half, including seven of the first 11. Freshmen Erika Woll (Erie, PA/Mercyhurst) got her first collegiate start and finished with seven points and two steals. Fontaine Glenn (West Sunbury, PA/Moniteau) and Maggie Lawrence (Harborcreek, PA/Harbor Creek) also scored their first collegiate points, ending with five and two points, respectively.
The Lions will face Kenyon in the consolation game tomorrow at 1 p.m.