BENNINGTON, Vt.- Southern Vermont's Joa Claircius hit a game tying buzzer beater to end regulation in a 70-70 tie. However, it wasn't enough as the Mountaineers fell to the Bay Path Wildcats 88-78 in New England Collegiate Conference Women's basketball action, at the Mountaineer Athletic Center on Thursday evening.
The Wildcats scored the first 15 points of the overtime period, and outscored SVC 18-8 in the final frame. Southern Vermont was held scoreless for the first four minutes of overtime before Alyssa Davis hit a three pointer with 56 seconds remaining. In overtime Bay Path scored 10 of its 18 points from the free throw line.
Kayla Skiffington led the way for the Wildcats with 26 points and 20 rebounds. From the floor Skiffington shot 11-16 and also assisted on five baskets. Nicole Delano and Brittney Alexander each scored 14 points for the victors. Delano grabbed 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Je'Quana Orr scored 13 points and Toni Alexander had 12 to ensure all five starters scored in double figures. Toni Alexander also contributed eight assists and had 10 of her points in overtime.
Alyssa Davis went 6-9 from beyond the arm to pace SVC with 18 points. Claircius had 21 points on 9-27 shooting. Kourtney Hewitt scored 10, and Dayna Carpenter scored 10 off the bench. Ashliy Veliz was one point shy of her fourth double-double in five games, with nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats led for the entire first half, and led by as many as 15 at the 7:37 mark when Skiffington finished a layup from Alexander. Southern Vermont chipped its way back in the game, to cut the lead to five at the break.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Southern Vermont took control of the game and took its largest lead of the game at three. In the next six minutes the two teams traded baskets back and forth before Bay Path held a seven point advantage with five minutes remaining. With one minute to play in regulation the Wildcats led by four at 70-66.
Claircius then made a jumper to cut the lead to two before the Mountaineers forced a turnover on the next possession. With 15 seconds remaining, Southern Vermont drew the clock down to 10, then Claircius drove to the middle where she kicked the ball to Sherrita Hall, who passed it back to Claircius to hit the buzzer beater in traffic as time expired.
In overtime, Delano and Skiffington made back to back layups to give Bay Path a four point advantage two minutes into the extra frame. Alexander made two free throws at the three minute mark and Delano made another layup to give the Wildcats a 78-70 lead with 2:30 to go. Alexander made another layup and then iced the game with six free throws for the win.
The Wildcats improve to 4-10 overall and 4-6 in NECC play while Southern Vermont drops to 5-12 and 4-6 in conference play. The Mountaineers will be home again Saturday when they host Newbury College at 1PM. Bay Path will host Daniel Webster this Saturday at noon.