By Pete Chiodo
The aim for the Allegheny College women’s basketball team was to get off to a modestly good start against Fredonia State.
“Our goal was to get out to a 4-0 lead,” said Gators head coach Kate Costanzo. “We did even better than that.”
The Gators passed the 4-0 threshold on a pair of buckets by Rachel Vigliotti.
Then Emma Pellicano knocked down a couple shots. Vigliotti had another. It was 10-0. Kendall Hoffman sunk a trey. It was 13-0.
Then Pellicano scored a couple more field goals, then Iffie Uwazie hit the back end of a shooting foul to make it 18-0. Five minutes had elapsed in the game and it was all Allegheny thus far.
Fredonia State would eventually get on the board. But the Lady Blue Devils would never recover from the Gators’ opening haymaker. And Allegheny rolled to its second win of the season 89-68 over the visiting New Yorkers during Saturday’s action at the Greg Richards Memorial Tip-off Classic at the David V. Wise Center.
“That was pretty good,” said Costanzo. “That was exactly what we wanted to do.”
Once again, it was Allegheny’s full-court press wreaking havoc on its opponent.
During that 18-0 run by Allegheny, Fredonia State was 0-for-6 from the floor and committed seven turnovers.
The Blue Devils ended up shooting just 28.2 percent from the floor in the first half (11-for-39), which Allegheny eventually won 43-28.
“We ran the full-court press great early in the game,” said Costanzo. “And I saw a lot of improvement in our half-court defense too.”
After Allegheny defeated D’Youville 93-59 on Friday, Costanzo, looking forward, said she expected that Fredonia State would be able to run with the Gators.
During the first half of Saturday’s game, it seemed that Costanzo was just being kind.
However, the Blue Devils proved her right in the second half, putting up 40 points to Allegheny’s 46.
“Fredonia State did a great job dealing with our pressure,” said Costanzo. “They were able to push the ball and score some easy layups. They had us on our heels a little bit. But we did a nice job responding to that. And, I think, eventually our pressure wore them down.”
Fredonia never seriously dug into Allegheny’s lead. And the Gators were able to hustle their way to a 21-point victory.
Hoffman ended the night with a team-high 21 points. She was 5-for-8 from 3-point land. That effort earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
Pellicano finished the night with 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds. She was chosen as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Jessica Mrdjenovich, Kaitlyn Fromknecht and Makenzie Zidek chipped in nine points apiece.
Marina Scarantino scored six points and led the team in assists (5) and steals (4). Hoffman, Pellicano and Mrdjenovich grabbed three steals apiece, giving the Lady Gators 14 for the contest.
Fredonia’s top scorer was Beckey Hebert, who finished 11-for-20 from the field and scored 27 points. She was an all-tournament pick. Jaimie Warren added a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double. Brittany LaForce also scored 10 points.
Also picked for the All-Tournament Team was Marietta’s junior forward Candice Alexander and D’Youville’s junior guard/forward Shannon Dougherty.