Women's Basketball Erases Big First-quarter Deficit for 82-70 NECC Comeback Win at Daniel Webster

Women's Basketball Erases Big First-quarter Deficit for 82-70 NECC Comeback Win at Daniel Webster

NASHUA, N.H. — The Southern Vermont College women's basketball team was able to overcome a 19-point first-quarter deficit Thursday night, coming back to win 82-70 at Daniel Webster College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action.

The Mountaineers improve to 8-5 overall on the year, moving to 5-1 in Conference play with their third straight win over the Eagles. SVC returns to its home court on Saturday, hosting Wheelock College for a 1 p.m. NECC showdown.

SVC saw Daniel Webster score the first 19 points of the game before the Eagles ended the opening quarter ahead 20-8. The Mountaineers inched back to go into halftime down by five (34-29), and Southern Vermont then cut it to a 55-54 DWC edge going into the fourth. SVC outscored the Eagles by 13 in the final 10 minutes, concluding the come-from-behind league victory.

Mountaineer senior captain Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) poured in a game-high 27 points while tying the game-best of eight assists. She added five rebounds and three steals to her night as the guard went 10-10 from the free throw line; the senior now has 1,610 career points, sitting just 161 shy of being the College's all-time scorer from both the women's and men's programs. Sophomore Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) followed with a season-best 15 points, notching six boards and three assists in just 13 minutes off the SVC bench.

Southern Vermont sophomore Chloe Longe (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go with her eight points, three steals and two assists, and senior Shaniquewa Barnes (Landover, Md.) tallied 12 points and four rebounds. Senior Turquoia Johnson (Rockville, Md.) had nine points, six boards and two steals, and classmate Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) notched six points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks in the win.

SVC narrowly edged Daniel Webster in field goal percentage, shooting 43.8 percent (28-64) to the hosts' 43.5 percent (30-69). The Mountaineers worked their way to the line for a strong advantage in dead-ball points, going 23-28 (82.1) on free throws while seeing DWC go just 3-8 from the stripe. Southern Vermont grabbed 44 rebounds to Daniel Webster's 38, and SVC outscored the hosts in points off turnovers by a 28-19 margin. Post play was well matched, both teams scoring 38 points in the paint on the night.

The Eagles won the opening tip and turned it into a quick two points, starting what would be a big run aided by cold Mountaineer shooting. Daniel Webster went on to score 19 unanswered points, stealing the ball from SVC three times in that stretch while seeing the Mountaineers miss their first 11 shots of the evening. Southern Vermont used its second timeout at the 3:52 mark of the first, slowing the game down to reset and get ready to mount a comeback. After the stoppage, Longe grabbed an offensive board and put it back for the visitors' first points of the contest with 3:03 to go before a single DWC free throw made it 20-2. Southern Vermont fought back to close the period on a 6-0 run, MacKenzie making a pair of baskets in that spurt while Longe hit a pair of freebies with just 21 ticks left.

SVC brought its momentum into the second stanza, Simmons notching four of six unanswered Mountaineer points that cut their deficit to 20-14. The Eagles responded with seven straight of their own, only to see Southern Vermont bounce back with an 11-2 run to make it a four-point game (29-25); Barnes had eight of those SVC points, four coming from the free throw line, while Flagg finished off an and-one play. The teams traded scores in the waning minutes of the half, Johnson scoring two baskets for Southern Vermont to go into the locker room down 34-29.

The beginning to the second half mirrored that of the game, Daniel Webster scoring the first 10 points to increase its advantage. Simmons ended that streak with a layup, and she would then follow up on a Flagg basket with another one of her own to keep the game within SVC's reach. After an Eagle jumper made it 50-38 in favor of the hosts, junior captain Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) knocked down a three-pointer to start a 13-2 Mountaineer run that got them within one. Daniel Webster dropped another trey in the final minute, but Flagg responded with a deep bucket of her own as the final buzzer neared to make it a 55-54 DWC lead going into the last quarter; Flagg had 11 of her points in the third frame.

Southern Vermont kept the pedal down to start the fourth while the Daniel Webster shooting went quiet. Simmons dropped a layup for the opening basket of the period and SVC's first lead of the game, one the Mountaineers would not give up for the remainder of the night. Southern Vermont scored the first 11 points of the quarter as DWC missed on its first seven shots.

An old-fashioned three-point play from Flagg was followed by another layup by the senior, putting her team in front 65-55 with 7:24 to go in the contest. Daniel Webster kept pace over the next couple minutes before two Longe free throws started a quick 6-0 Mountaineer spurt that gave SVC what would be its biggest lead of the night, concluding a 35-point swing since the 3:53 mark of the first. DWC hit three baskets from beyond the arc in the final 1:51 of action, but Flagg and Barnes each went 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the last minute to prevent any sort of Eagle comeback and close out the Conference triumph.