Women's Basketball Holds Off Becker for 75-67 Home-opening NECC Win

Women's Basketball Holds Off Becker for 75-67 Home-opening NECC Win

 BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Southern Vermont College women's basketball team played its first home game of the season Thursday night, defeating Becker College 75-67 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.

SVC led 36-20 at halftime, but the visiting Hawks came back in the final 20 minutes to cut things close. The Mountaineers were able to hold off Becker down the stretch as Southern Vermont moved to 4-2 overall on the season and 2-0 in NECC play. BC falls to 1-6, 0-2 against the league.

The victory is just Southern Vermont's third-ever against Becker, now having won the last three meetings between the two sides.

Both teams take back to the court on Saturday for NECC matchups, SVC heading to Lesley University for a 7 p.m. scheduled tip while Becker plays host to Newbury College at 1 p.m.

Southern Vermont senior captain Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) tallied a team-best 19 points while adding three rebounds and four steals. Classmate Shaniquewa Barnes (Landover, Md.) added 15 points, eight boards, three steals and two blocks as junior captain Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) tallied 14 points and four rebounds. Senior Turquoia Johnson (Rockville, Md.) had nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds, adding five assists and three steals to her line, while classmate Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) notched six points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Becker freshman Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, Conn.) led all players with a season-high 23 points while registering four rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. Classmate Ciara McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) followed with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and fellow freshman Katey Anderson (Beachwood, N.J.) chipped in with nine points, two boards and two assists in the effort.

Southern Vermont narrowly edged Becker in field goal percentage, going 29-69 from the floor (42.0 percent) while the Hawks were 23-56 (41.1 percent). The Mountaineers knocked down six three-pointers to BC's two and owned a 44-33 advantage on the glass. SVC outscored Becker 19-10 in second-chance points with a 19-11 edge in offensive rebounds.

The Hawks won the opening tip and turned it into an early upper hand, but the Mountaineers came back with nine unanswered points, six coming from Flagg, to go on top 9-2 midway through the first quarter. Layups by McKissick and senior captain Gabrielle Gallo (Northport, N.Y.) cut it to a three-point SVC lead, only to see the hosts heat up from outside and close the period on an 11-0 run in the final 2:50 of the stanza; Flagg, Dow, and senior Marissa Myers (Chatham, N.Y.) each knocked down a trey in that time to give Southern Vermont a 22-8 lead going to the second.

Becker scored the first three baskets of the second quarter, three Hawks getting layups to go to make it a 22-14 SVC advantage. Southern Vermont was able to bounce back and push its separation up 19 as Barnes dropped six points during an 11-1 Mountaineer surge that gave the hosts what would be their biggest lead of the night, 35-16, with 2:04 to go in the half. BC ended the quarter on a 4-1 spurt, sending the game to the intermission with SVC on top 36-20.

The two sides traded scores through the first four minutes after play resumed, a jumper from Southern Vermont sophomore Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) making it 43-26 at the 7:31 mark of the third. That's when the Hawks started to get rolling, freshman Avrie Bassingthwaite (Swanzey, N.H.) completing an old-fashioned three-point play to start a 16-1 run that drastically cut into the Mountaineer advantage. Flagg would hit another bucket from downtown for the first three of eight unanswered SVC points, and the scoring went back-and-forth down the stretch of the frame before a McKissick layup with just a few ticks on the clock made it a 57-48 game going into the final stanza.

Becker carried its momentum into the fourth quarter as Dowdy hit a layup to cut the Hawk deficit to seven. The teams once again traded baskets, BC answering each time Southern Vermont scored to keep it close. With the score set at 71-59 with 3:19 to play, a jumper by Becker junior Marissa Turner (Coventry, R.I.) preceded a pair of Hawk treys on their next two possessions as the visitors cut it to just four. Those would be the final points of the game for BC, however, as the last 1:33 of action saw the Hawks go scoreless while being forced to foul. The Mountaineers converted on the other end to put the game out of reach for Becker and win their second league matchup of the year.