Blue Basketball Downs Salisbury on Kopp Buzzer Beater, 52-50

Julia Monaco
Julia Monaco

WATCH: Blue Basketball Downs Salisbury on Kopp Buzzer Beater, 52-50
Dec 30, 2016

WELLESLEY, Mass. – First year Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) knocked down a put-back layup at the buzzer to send Wellesley College basketball to a 52-50 victory over Salisbury University in non-conference action on Friday at Gracia Mangano Martore '73 Court.

Wellesley snaps a five-game skid with the victory, grabbing their first home win of the year while improving to 4-5 overall. Salisbury drops to 7-4 overall and has now lost three-consecutive games following a six-game win streak earlier this season.

First year guard Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) scored a game-high 17 points, shooting 7-of-13 from the floor while also collecting a team-high eight rebounds and four steals. Kopp finished the contest with 12 points, four boards and a pair of assists. Classmate Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) also had seven rebounds.

Senior Lauren Rothfeld (Dresher, Pa.) tallied 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Salisbury. Sophomore Kaylyn French (Silver Spring, Md.) led all players with 10 rebounds and six steals in 24 minutes of action. First year Ashlyn Smith (Phoenixville, Pa.) and senior Kelsie Bacon (Owings Mills, Md.) chipped in with eight and seven points, respectively, off the Salisbury bench. 

With the Blue trailing 50-49 in the final seconds of the game, You Mak was fouled on the way to the bucket, sending the first year guard to the line with seven seconds to play. You Mak knocked down the first of two free throws, to make the score 50-50, but missed the second. Luckily, the rebounded found Ayub. A put-back attempt from Ayub caromed off the glass to Kopp, where the first year caught the ball on the opposite side of the basket before putting it back up and in for the 52-50 Wellesley victory.

The Blue overcame an eight-point deficit at the start of the second half to earn the victory, outlasting the Sea Gulls in a contest that featured six ties and seven lead changes. Kopp tied the game at 40-40 earlier in the fourth quarter before the visitors got back-to-back buckets from Smith and Rothfeld to retake the lead at 44-40 with 7:01 to play. Salisbury held on to an advantage until You Mak tied the game at 50-50.

Both teams shot 32.8 percent from the field, with Salisbury owning a 52-43 edge on the glass. Wellesley finished with a 30-22 edge in points in the paint, while each side knocked down only a pair of shots from beyond the arc.

Wellesley returns to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday, January 7, 2017 when they take on Emerson College at 1:00 PM in Boston. Salisbury will play on the road at Mary Washington at 1:00 PM on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 6:00 PM.