CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Trailing by two after the first quarter, Southern Vermont stormed to a 19-point halftime lead Saturday night en route to a 73-53 win at Lesley University in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action.
The Mountaineers came back to make it a two-point deficit after the first period before outscoring the Lynx 26-8 in the second for a sizable advantage at the break. SVC maintained its separation through the final 20 minutes to close out the league win.
Southern Vermont senior Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) led the Mountaineers with 18 points, adding seven rebounds, six steals and four assists. She now has 1,481 career points, sitting 12 shy of breaking the program's all-time scoring record; the captain has a chance to hit the milestone on her home floor as SVC next hosts New England College on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
A three-game winning streak gives Southern Vermont its second straight 3-0 start in NECC action, the team improving to 5-2 overall on the year. The third straight Mountaineer win against the Lynx gives SVC its most victories before the winter break in the last 15 years.
Mountaineer senior Turquoia Johnson (Rockville, Md.) came off the bench to score 15 points in 14 minutes of action, adding 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year. Classmate Shaniquewa Barnes (Landover, Md.) scored nine points to go with her game and career-high 14 rebounds while fellow senior Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) chipped in with eight points, six boards and three blocks.
Southern Vermont owned a 63-53 edge in rebounds as its bench outscored the Lynx' by a 28-5 margin. SVC turned the ball over just 15 times while forcing Lesley to do so on 27 occasions, those mishaps resulting in a 29-4 advantage in points off turnovers for the Mountaineers.
An and-one play converted by Flagg helped her score the first six points for SVC, but Lesley kept pace as a layup with 3:56 to go put the Lynx on top 9-8. LU tallied eight consecutive points with four free throws to go up by seven, but two Flagg baskets at the charity stripe and a three-pointer right before the buzzer by sophomore Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) cut it to a 17-15 Lynx lead going to the second quarter.
SVC notched the first seven points after the stoppage, but Lesley answered with a three and a layup to tie things at 22-22. A pair of Johnson layups sandwiched a basket from downtown by junior captain Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) for Southern Vermont to go up by seven with four minutes left, but LU cut the lead to four with the next two scores. Those would be the last points of the half for Lesley, the Mountaineers increasing their lead with 11 unanswered as Johnson and Flagg added six and four points, respectively, to give their team a 41-25 lead going into the intermission.
The Lynx came out of the locker room and put up eight straight points to cut into the deficit, only to see SVC senior Marissa Myers (Chatham, N.Y.) respond with a basket from beyond the perimeter on the ensuing possession as the Mountaineers bumped it to a 46-33 upper hand. Lesley got within 10 on a free throw at the 3:54 mark, but Southern Vermont ended the quarter with a 10-0 run behind four points from both Flagg and MacKenzie to go up by 19.
Scoring was scarce for both teams in the final frame, LU topping Southern Vermont just 10-9 in the last 10 minutes. Only six combined points were registered in the opening five minutes of the quarter while Barnes tallied the first five for SVC in the stanza. Baskets were traded down the stretch as the Mountaineers completed their third straight victory.