BENNINGTON, Vt. — Outscoring its opponents in each of the first three quarters of play, Southern Vermont College defeated Bay Path University 84-62 Thursday night in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC held a nine-point advantage after the opening period and added to that in the next 10 minutes to go up 39-22 at halftime. The Mountaineers then increased their upper hand through the final two frames to walk out with the league victory.
Southern Vermont improves to 10-8 on the year and 7-4 in NECC play while the Wildcats fall to 4-13 overall and 1-9 against the Conference.
The Mountaineers are back at it on Saturday, hosting Lesley University for a 1 p.m. tip-off at the MAC; the two teams will celebrate the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week that day with all admissions proceeds going to support the ACS. Bay Path plays at the same time in its next game, visiting Wheelock College for a league contest.
SVC sophomore Chloe Longe (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) registered a season-best 17 points to lead the hosts, finishing just two short of her career-high while adding a pair of rebounds and two assists to her line. Classmate Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) followed with 13 points while notching a game and career-best 12 rebounds for her second career double-double in just 13 minutes off the SVC bench. Junior captain Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) tallied 10 points, two rebounds and an assist, and senior Shaniquewa Barnes (Landover, Md.) provided another 10 points, nine boards, four assists and two steals.
Mountaineer senior Marissa Myers (Chatham, N.Y.) and freshmen Ashley Boise (New Haven, Vt.) and Amber Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.) all registered a season-high nine points in reserve time for SVC. Senior Turquoia Johnson (Rockville, Md.) tallied nine rebounds and a game-best six assists while classmate Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) had seven points, four rebounds and four blocks.
A pair of Wildcats notched game-highs of 18 points, junior Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) and senior Elizabeth Haylette (Terryville, Conn.) each doing so while adding three assists and seven rebounds, respectively. Freshman Haleigh Bassett (Millers Falls, Mass.) chipped in 12 points and five boards, and classmate Samantha Drapinski (Malden, Mass.) recorded eight points and team-bests of nine rebounds and five assists in the effort.
The Mountaineers connected on 51.4 percent (36-70) of their field goal attempts, the best mark for the team since it put up a 52.4 percent clip against Lesley University on January 6, 2015; Bay Path finished with a 36.1 percent (22-61) figure from the floor on the night. SVC owned a 47-33 advantage on the glass while outscoring the Wildcats 25-17 in points off turnovers. BPU had a 16-13 edge in second-chance points, but Southern Vermont dominated the paint with a 48-28 point differential from the key.
A Roy three-pointer got Bay Path on the board first to start the evening's scoring, but Barnes came back with two straight layups, followed by a third from MacKenzie, for SVC to go in front. Bassett finished off an and-one play to answer and even things at 6-6, only to see baskets from three Mountaineers put the hosts up by five. Two Roy free throws at the 4:20 mark of the first quarter cut Southern Vermont's lead to 13-10, but Lesure registered the next two scores to bump the separation up to seven. Myers' first triple of the night was the last bucket of the period, sending the game to the second with SVC on top 20-11.
Longe used her speed early in the ensuing quarter for a pair of fast-break layups to make it a 13-point Mountaineer lead, and Simmons then dropped a trey after a Bassett basket during a 13-2 SVC surge that gave Southern Vermont a comfortable cushion. The Mountaineer offense went quite over the next 4:30 of action as the Wildcats inched back with seven unanswered points, four Bay Path players getting in on the scoring to make it a 33-20 game. Myers would drill her second and third buckets from downtown in the final 1:15 of the half, sandwiching a pair of Drapinksi free throws to send her team into the locker room with a 39-22 lead.
Drapinksi notched the first two baskets of the third quarter, starting a 12-4 Bay Path spurt that included another six points off of Haylette's hand for the Wildcats to cut their deficit down to single digits. It wouldn't last for long, however, as Boise dropped the first two of eight straight Mountaineer points from the charity stripe to extend the separation; Dow had a pair of consecutive scores in that stretch before Longe continued her strong night with a layup. Roy knocked down another three, but Longe answered soon-after to keep Southern Vermont ahead by 17. Lesure added another score from beyond the arc with 1:36 to go in the stanza, and a pair of Simmons baskets from down low preceded two Haylette free throws for SVC to go into the final frame up 67-43.
Scores were traded in the front-end of the fourth quarter until back-to-back Simmons buckets pushed it out to an 82-49 Mountaineer advantage. Bay Path would register the next six straight points with help from Roy's third trey of the night, and the Wildcats would close the game out on a 13-2 run that was capped by a fourth Roy triple with just seconds to go. It would not be enough to overcome the large SVC lead, however, as the Mountaineers finished off the season sweep of BPU.