Posted on Nov 28, 2004

  What a better way to open a new era than to defeat an old rival? The Dutchwomen did just that as they won the first basketball game in the brand new Viniar Athletic Center, 52-41, over non-league rival Williams College.  The Dutchwomen, who are coming
off of last year's 24-4 season in which they competed in their first-ever NCAA
championship tournament after winning the Liberty League regular-season and
tournament titles, scored the game's final 12 points to capture their opener.

Katlyn Cunnigham

Senior forward
Katlyn Cunningham, who led the Dutchwomen in both scoring and rebounding,
netted eight of her 11 points and pulled down 11 of her 15 rebounds in the second
half as Union rallied from a 22-20 halftime deficit by outscoring the
previously undefeated Ephs, 32-19, over the final 20 minutes.  The loss dropped Williams to 3-1.

    “This was just
perfect,” said head coach Mary Ellen Burt. 
“To open a new season in a beautiful, brand new facility with a victory
over an old, and well-respected, rival is just fantastic.  We didn't panic when we got down early.  We believed in our system, we believed in
ourselves, and in the second half we controlled the game by playing the brand
of ball that got us into the NCAA tournament last year.  I could not be prouder of every single
member of this team.”

     Trailing 41-40
with 5:11 left to play, Cunningham started the game-ending rally by converting
one of two free throws.  Senior guard
Melissa Marra gave the Dutchwomen the lead for good by canning a jumper with
4:19 showing before Cunningham converted a pass from Marra then hit the
following free throw to make it 46-41 with 3:03 remaining.  Krystal Hammond connected on one of two free
throws with 2:29 left before Cunningham's layup gave Union an eight-point lead,
49-41, with 1:45 on the clock.  Marra
rounded out the final margin by hitting a free throw at 1:20 and then
connecting on two more with 55 seconds remaining.

Melissa Marra

     Cunningham, who was playing with four fouls, led Union's rally by
contributing six points, five rebounds and an assist over the final 5:11 while
Marra added five points, an assist and a rebound.

     Williams jumped
out to a 7-0 lead before sophomore forward Tara Pezze produced Union's first
Viniar point by hitting one of two free throws with 13:03 left in the opening
half.  Cunningham's layup with 10:54
left no only gave the Dutchwomen their first Viniar field goal; it broke an
0-12 slump from the field.  Junior guard
Erika Eisenhut, who finished with a team-high 15 points, hit the Garnet's first
three-point field goal in the new building and brought the Dutchwomen to within
11-10 with 6:47 left. Marra, who had 10 points, five assists, and five
rebounds, tied the game at 13 with a three-point basket at 5:06 and Hammond
gave Union its first Viniar lead, 17-15, on a jumper with 2:49 remaining.  The game was tied three more times in the
final 2:24 before Meghan Stetson's field goal at the buzzer gave the Ephs a
22-20 lead at the break.

     Williams, which enjoyed a 35-18 rebounding
advantage at the half, finished with a 56-45 margin.  Meghan O'Malley pulled down a game-high 13 boards while Maggie
Miller added 11 to go along with her game-high 17 points.