NORTHFIELD, VT. – Tuesday evening, the AMCATS travelled to Norwich University to take on the Cadets. Just ten days ago these two teams met in Paxton, and with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock, AMCAT senior, Kayla Odegaard hit a three-pointer that gave the AMCATS a 58-57 win. Tuesday's game brought more drama but the result was slightly different.
For the AMCATS, senior guard Kristina Russo (South Windsor, Conn) scored a game-high and career-high 29 points. 27 of her 29 points came off of three pointers, with her other two points coming from the free throw line. Senior guard Kayla Odegaard (Milton, Mass) scored 15 points for the 'Cats, all coming from beyond the three-point line. Odegaard added four rebounds and three assists as well. Grad student Johanna Burke (Oxford, Mass) and senior guard Maritza Gustave (Fall River, Mass) each added nine points to the Anna Maria tally. Burke also added nine rebounds which led the team while Gustave grabbed seven caroms. Though she only scored two points on the evening, freshman guard Franchesca Hammond (Worcester, Mass) dished out eight assists and grabbed four rebounds.
On the other end of the floor, the Cadets were led by senior guard Shyann Josler (Thetford Center, Vt) who scored 22 points. Josler also handed out seven assists and grabbed four rebounds. Recording a double-double on the night, senior forward Arianna Harrison (Vernon, Vt) scored 13 points while pulling down 14, all defensive, rebounds.
The first quarter was the worst for the AMCATS, a team that generally start strong. The Cadets were able to double up the 'Cats in the first ten minutes, outscoring their guests 22-11. Josler would open the scoring with a three fifteen seconds in to the game. The four first shots made in the game were threes as the teams traded three-pointers to get to a 6-6 tie two and a half minutes in to the first period. Over the next five minutes the Cadets went on a 10-0 run before sophomore forward Gina Houghton (Paxton, Mass) hit a bucket. From there, the AMCATS would only score three more on a Burke three-pointer and the quarter finished 22-11.
In the second, the 'Cats came back at the Cadets strong. After being doubled up in the first, Anna Maria returned the favor. AMC went on a 15-3 run over the first five minutes of the period, taking a 26-25 lead after Gustave hit a three. The teams would trade baskets over the remaining minutes of the half, and by the end of 20 minutes, with the AMCATS outscoring Norwich 28-14 in the second, Anna Maria took a three-point, 39-36 lead to the break.
The third period began with the Cadets grabbing the lead back just two minutes in. Norwich would hold that lead for the rest of the period as the third was the lowest scoring quarter of the game with the hosts outscoring AMC 17-11 to retake the lead, 53-50 going in to the fourth.
The final ten minutes were slow starting, though the Cadets would extend their lead to seven before back-to-back threes from Odegaard and Russo pulled them back within one. Again, Norwich would run their lead back out to five and Anna Maria would have to play catch up with time ticking away. Down five with 2:38 on the clock, Russo hit a three followed by a layup from Burke that tied the game at 68 apiece with 44 seconds remaining. Shyann Josler was the difference as she put home a shot to give her team the 70-68 lead. On the ensuing AMCAT possession, Russo missed the go ahead three with two seconds left, Burke would gather the offensive rebound and miss her shot giving the Cadets the exciting, 70-68 win.
Up next for the AMCATS is a trip to Boston to take on Emmanuel on Saturday afternoon at 12pm.