BENNINGTON, Vt. — In its second game of a 24-hour span, the Southern Vermont College women's basketball team fell 96-65 to the University of Maine-Fort Kent in early Sunday non-conference action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
The visiting Bengals closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 run to claim a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the day. SVC cut it close a few times, only to see Fort Kent answer on each of those runs to extend its lead for the victory.
Southern Vermont concluded its non-conference schedule on Sunday, dropping to 6-5 with the loss. The Mountaineers are back in action on Tuesday, hosting Newbury College for a 4 p.m. New England Collegiate Conference contest.
SVC went 25-72 (34.7 percent) from the floor on the day while UMFK shot at a 58.2 percent (39-67) clip from field goal range. The Bengals took a 44-33 edge on the glass and notched 20 points off turnovers to Southern Vermont's 16. Fort Kent also owned a 48-30 advantage in the paint while winning the turnover battle by a slim 16-15 margin.
Mountaineer senior captain Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) registered team-highs of 20 points and five assists and added four rebounds to her line. Classmate Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) tallied 12 points and four boards while junior captain Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) chipped in another 12 points and a pair of steals. Sophomore Chloe Longe (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) came off the bench to score six points, grab five rebounds and dish out three assists, three of her boards being on the offensive end in a span of 1:10 late in the second quarter.
UMFK was powered by two strong performances, senior center Ericka Saucier (Warren, Maine) dropping in 39 points while grabbing 10 rebounds for the double-double as junior Romanalyn Inocencio (Oakland, Calif.) followed with 27 points, 11 assists and six boards.
The Bengals scored the first five points of the contest, Inocencio completing an old-fashioned three-point play to help give her team the early lead. Four Mountaineers recorded baskets over the next few minutes during a 10-3 SVC run, Dow and Flagg knocking down back-to-back threes as Southern Vermont went on top 10-8 midway through the first. Scores were traded through the remainder of the quarter as Saucier went on a personal 11-4 run against SVC for UMFK to end the frame ahead 25-19.
Inocencio drilled a three for the first basket of the second period, Fort Kent then notching 11 unanswered points to increase its lead to 37-19 with 5:30 to go in the half. Southern Vermont inched its way back in the latter portion of the period, finishing the second quarter on an 11-4 spurt to go into intermission down 41-30; MacKenzie scored two baskets from down low in that stretch while Longe connected from beyond the arc for the Mountaineers to keep it close.
SVC continued to chip away after the break with Dow having a stellar opening three minutes of the third quarter; she dropped seven points in that time, with the help of a trey, before a second-chance layup by the junior made it just 46-41 in favor of the Bengals. Fort Kent then went on a 16-1 run to pull away, however, as Saucier poured in 10 of those points for a comfortable 62-42 lead. A Flagg three-pointer preceded a pair of free throws by the captain late in the quarter, and a layup by SVC sophomore Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) made it a 69-51 game going into the fourth.
Flagg scored nine of her points in the final 10 minutes, but a 12-3 Fort Kent rebounding advantage prevented the Mountaineers from staging anymore of a comeback. Inocencio tallied seven straight points in the middle of the quarter, leading UMFK to its fifth straight win.