BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College women's basketball team lost by a 74-60 margin to Bay Path College Thursday night in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
Sophomore guard Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) led SVC with 22 points while Bay Path senior captain Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, Mass.) notched game-highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds in the win.
Flagg was followed in the point column on the Mountaineer side by sophomore forward Sarah McDonald (Cohoes, N.Y.) who dropped 15 to go along with a team-best eight rebounds, and sophomore forward Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) added six rebounds, four blocks and two steals in the effort. Flagg also recorded a game-high six steals and three assists on the night.
Skiffington added five steals and three blocks to her line as senior captain Justine Hook (Berwick, Pa.) scored 17 on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point distance. Freshman guard Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Mass.) totaled 16 points, five boards and three assists in the victory.
BPC owned the edge in shooting percentage as the Wildcats finished at a 35.9 percent clip (23-64) and the Mountaineers were held to just 30.1 percent (22-73). The two sides were fairly even at shooting in the key with Bay Path taking a 30-28 points in the paint advantage, but the Wildcats hit the boards hard to control a 56-47 rebound tally.
The early going did not see a lot of scoring as a pair of converted Flagg free throws made it just 9-4 in favor of the visitors with 13:22 to go in the first. That started a 9-0 Mountaineer run that ended with another pair from Flagg at the line as Southern Vermont took an 11-9 lead. Undeterred, the Wildcats bounced right back with 10 unanswered of their own with the help of two from downtown by Hook to put her team ahead 19-11 at the 9:00 mark.
SVC chipped away at the Bay Path lead and looked to have the momentum after sophomore guard Marissa Myers (E. Chatham, N.Y.) came off the bench and knocked down a three to close the gap to 21-19. Soon after, however, Hook hit her fourth triple of the period, and sophomore center Gladys Reed (Hamden, Conn.) powered down low for an easy two as Bay Path took a 26-19 lead. The two sides traded baskets down the stretch and went into the break with BPC up 34-25.
Hook had all five of her three-pointers in the first for a half-high 15 points while Flagg was right behind with 14 for the Mountaineers.
Bay Path maintained its nine-point lead through the opening four minutes of the second half, but that would be when Southern Vermont closed in to threaten taking the lead back. In less than a minute and a half, SVC freshman Abbi Molner (Wilmington, Vt.) made two layups, sandwiching a McDonald free throw and a third lay-in by sophomore guard Mariah Anthony (Northfield, Mass.) to make it a 44-38 game with 14:10 on the clock. Over the next three minutes of play, neither team made a basket as the two sides totaled six turnovers, the last being a BPC shot clock violation. Southern Vermont took advantage when McDonald brought the ball inside and put in a short jumper to trim the Wildcat lead to just four (44-40).
Another McDonald basket shortly after kept SVC close at 49-44, but Bay Path would then open the game up with a 19-4 run over the next 4:32 of play to take a commanding 68-48 lead that was too much for the Mountaineers to overcome. Flagg scored eight points in the closing four minutes, but the Wildcats continued to convert on the offensive end en route to the 74-60 final.
The Mountaineers (4-13, 2-8 NECC) take to the road next for a 2 p.m. Saturday NECC contest at Lesley University as they try to complete the series sweep of the Lynx. Bay Path (6-11, 5-5 NECC) looks to its 1 p.m. Saturday tip at Regis College.