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Snell MVP, Parmeter, Walker Aid Albany COP Title

DIX HILLS, N.Y. — Powered by a game-high 32 points by Tournament MVP Clare Snell of Potsdam, No. 2-seeded Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences defeated top seed Berkeley College, 56-54, to win the 2020 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday afternoon at Five Towns College.

Snell shot 47 percent for the weekend to average a tournament-leading 26 points and nearly averaged a double-double with 9.0 rebounds to lead the Panthers to their first title since 2017 and fifth overall.

The title game featured seven ties and seven lead changes and was closely contested throughout. A Snell three-pointer stretched the Panthers lead to seven, 46-39, with 8:55 to play before the Knights used a 12-4 run over the next six minutes to take the lead at 51-50. Hope Walker secured a key offensive rebound and laid it in to give the Panthers the lead for good and Snell drained back-to-back jumpers to push the ACPHS lead to 56-51 with 25 seconds to play. Kaina Martinez (Bronx, N.Y.) drilled a deep three-pointer to bring the Knights back within one possession, but the Knights would fall short of their first title.

Following Snell for Albany Pharmacy, senior Emma Webster (Cadyville, N.Y.), who was named the Player of the Year in post-tournament ceremonies, scored 10 points with seven rebounds and four assists and senior Oliva Parmeter (Waddington, N.Y.) chipped in 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Lisbon's Hope Walker tallied three points with five rebounds.

Martinez would finish with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Berkeley in defeat and Daniella Wood (Bronx, N.Y.) added a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.  Jennifer Lightner (Bronx, N.Y.) rounded out three in double-figures for the regular-season champions with 12 points off the bench.

Both teams cruised through their semifinal wins to earn a spot in the final. Berkeley had five in double figures led by Lightner’s 24 points and Wood’s 19 points as the Knights raced past No. 4 Vaughn 97-29 in the first semifinal. Xylene DeCoteau led the Warriors with 11 points in defeat. In the second semifinal, Snell recorded a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double and Parmeter had 18 points and seven boards as the Panthers cruised past #3 Kings, 55-39. Sarah Sudfeld paced Kings with eight points and 14 rebounds.

With their third title in five years, Albany Pharmacy also earns the league's automatic berth in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Small College National Championship, which will be held in Uniontown, Pennsylvania from March 7-11. The full tournament field for the championship will be announced on February 28.

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