Women's Basketball: Raiders Fend Off Farmingdale's Late Comeback for the Win at NYU Holiday Classic

Hailey Peoples-O'Neil
Hailey Peoples-O'Neil

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The Mount Union women's basketball team defeated Farmingdale State College (1-9) 78-67 on the final day of the NYU Holiday Classic at Hunter.

Closing out 2018, the Purple Raiders move to 10-2 overall and 3-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

The Raiders were led by junior guard Tori Rappach's (Warren/Howland) 24 points as she shot 61.5% from three. Senior guard Rachel Tinkey (Canfield) also logged double figures on the day with 13 points.

Sophomore forward Sarah Hessel (Avon Lake) was atop of the team in rebounds with eight as she was accompanied by freshman center Hailey Peoples-O'Neil (Geneva) with a season-high seven rebounds. 

Farmingdale State was led by Nia Miller's 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds.

A three by Tinkey opened the first quarter for the Raiders. Farmingdale answered with one of their own but they could not hold off Tinkey as she scored eight of Mount Union's 11 points after just three minutes of play to lead 11-6. The two squads traded off three pointers, Mount Union's coming from Rappach, Tinkey and Meghan Hess (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) to take their largest lead of the quarter, 17-9 with 3:59 to go. Farmingdale landed a couple more buckets and a last-second three cut the deficit to 19-14 to end the quarter.

Mount Union's offense came alive in the second quarter, outscoring Farmingdale 22-8. Five Raiders found their way to the scoring column in the quarter with Rappach and Sarah Turley (Sagamore Hills/Nordonia) landing a pair of three's. Mount Union also took better care of the ball as they only recorded two turnovers compared the the seven that they had in the first. Farmingdale now trailed 41-22 going into the break.

Farmingdale bounced back in the third quarter to nearly match Mount Union. The Raiders would win the quarter 23-21 but Farmingdale remained competitve as they forced six Mount Union turnovers and drew six fouls. Rappach fueled the offense with three shots from behind the arc to maintain Mount Union's double digit lead at 64-43.

Mount Union's turnover troubles returned in the final ten minutes of play to give Farmingdale just what they needed to spark a comeback. Farmingdale's Nia Miller hit three in the opening possession for the Rams scored their first five points. Mount Union went scoreless for nearly four minutes as Farmingdale went on a 10-0 run to make the score 70-60 with 3:15 on the clock before getting within eight at the two-minute mark. Jaime Sanborn (Twinsburg) put the comeback to a stop on a three-point play, getting the Raiders back up by double figures; 75-64 with 53 seconds remaining. Rappach and Miller matched three's to close out the final two possessions of the game with Mount Union coming out on top, 78-67.

The Raiders will next play Capital at home Saturday, January 5 at 3:00 p.m. as they return to conference action to kickoff 2019.