BENNINGTON, Vt. — A double-digit lead after the opening quarter was never threatened the rest of the way for Southern Vermont College Saturday afternoon as the hosting Mountaineers carried their offensive success to an 88-43 win over Lesley University in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC led 46-15 at halftime and continued to outscore the Lynx in each of the remaining periods to win its fourth straight meeting with LU.
The Mountaineers improve to 11-8 on the year and 8-4 in the NECC as Lesley falls to 1-16 overall (0-10 NECC). Southern Vermont takes to the road for its next game, visiting Becker College on Tuesday for an 8 p.m. NECC tip-off. Lesley turns around to a Monday night contest, hosting Newbury College for an 8 p.m. start.
Saturday saw the coaching staffs from both teams take part in the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week, raising over $500 for the ACS between admissions proceeds and the day's 50/50 raffle.
Southern Vermont senior Shaniquewa Barnes (Landover, Md.) had a stellar outing, dropping a career and game-high 30 points while grabbing 12 boards for her seventh double-double of the year; she also notched four steals and two assists on the day and shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Sophomore Chloe Longe (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) followed with 16 points and nine rebounds as classmate Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) came off the bench to tally 13 points and another nine boards. Freshman Amber Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.) had a solid game in her first collegiate start, going 3-for-3 from downtown to register a season-best 12 points. Junior captain Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) was a pest for the Lynx, swiping a career-high eight steals on the defensive side while chipping in with eight points on the other end of the floor.
Lesley sophomore Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass.) led the visitors with 16 points and six boards, adding four assists and three steals to her line. Senior Ari Dimou (Manchester, N.H.) scored nine points while junior Emily Meade (Derry, N.H.) recorded eight points and five boards. Sophomore Courtney Goggin (Cheshire, Conn.) provided another six points and two boards in the effort as senior Hayley Wirth (Escondido, Calif.) came off the bench to notch three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
SVC shot a season-high 51.7 percent (30-58) on field goal attempts for the day while holding Lesley to a 31 percent (18-58) clip from the floor. The Mountaineers had a strong advantage on the glass, pulling down 48 caroms to the LU's 25. Southern Vermont outscored the Lynx by a 35-9 margin in points off turnovers and a 42-24 tally in points from the paint. SVC also used its rebounding performance to top Lesley 14-2 in second-chance points.
The Mountaineers started the game on a 16-2 run, Barnes scoring eight of those SVC points while Lesure knocked down her first triple of the day. Barnes would add another basket at the 1:11 mark of the opening quarter before Lesley's Abby Henderson (Rochester, N.H.) finished off an and-one play with just seconds left to make it a 20-7 game at the period's end.
After baskets were traded to start the next stanza, Southern Vermont senior Marissa Myers (Chatham, N.Y.) spotted up and dropped a three-ball; she would then hit a jumper before Simmons added another for the Mountaineers to go in front 29-9. Longe and Lesure then buried back-to-back threes to increase the separation, and Barnes later registered six straight points in the closing two minutes of action to help send the game to intermission with SVC up 46-16.
Barnes and Southern Vermont senior Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) each scored four points in the early going of the third quarter, being answered by a Pereira jumper before Lesure connected again from beyond the arc. Pereira added a trey of her own at the 6:05 mark, and play was then scoreless for the next two minutes; she recorded a pair of consecutive baskets later in the frame to make it a 60-27 LU deficit, only to see Longe and Dow drop in two straight baskets in response. Goggin got a jumper to go with just seven ticks on the clock for SVC to take a 64-29 advantage into the final period.
Barnes would go to the line three times in the first 3:15 of the fourth, knocking down all six free throws to make it a 39-point Mountaineer lead. She would add another two from the stripe to hit the 30-point plateau as SVC went on to score the team's most points in regulation time this season.