Women’s basketball: In front of sold-out crowd, Smith College gets past Maine Maritime in NCAA tourney opener

Smith College guard Hannah Martin (22) goes up for a breakaway layup against WPI earlier this season at Ainsworth Gymnasium in Northampton.

Smith College guard Hannah Martin (22) goes up for a breakaway layup against WPI earlier this season at Ainsworth Gymnasium in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 03-01-2024 9:48 PM

It wasn’t easy, but the Smith College women’s basketball team is into into the Round of 32.

The Pioneers used their defense and a huge edge in rebounding to hold off a push from Maine Maritime, 61-46, in the opening round of the NCAA Division 3 Tournament before a sold-out crowd at Ainsworth Gymnasium in Northampton on Friday night.

Smith (25-3) will play Messiah in the Round of 32 on Saturday night back at Ainsworth with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line (7 p.m.). Messiah got past Shenandoah, 58-57, in the other first round game played in Northampton on Friday.

Smith held Maine Maritime to just 35 percent shooting and held a 42-27 edge on the boards during Friday’s win. The visitors shot just 2-for-12 from 3-point range.

Ally Yamada led three Pioneers in double figures with 17 points to go with five assists and five rebounds. Hannah Martin added 13 points and Sofia Rosa tossed in 10 points and six boards. Jessie Ruffner (eight points, nine rebounds) and Jane Loo (six points, nine rebounds) also had big nights for Smith.

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