BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Southern Vermont College women's basketball team fell 71-58 Wednesday night to the hands of visiting Daniel Webster College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
The Eagles were powered by the first career triple-double from junior Jillian Gilman (Weare, N.H.) who notched game-highs of 27 points, 22 rebounds and 14 blocks. DWC carried a tight 30-28 lead into the locker room and then went up 45-42 following the third quarter. Daniel Webster then pulled away in the final 10 minutes to split the season series with Southern Vermont.
The Mountaineers move to 11-11 on the year and 8-7 in league play while DWC improves to 9-13 overall and 7-8 against the NECC. Both teams are next in action on Saturday with Conference contests, SVC visiting Wheelock College for a 12 p.m. tip-off while Daniel Webster hosts Newbury College at 1 p.m.
Southern Vermont was led by senior captain Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) who had 18 points while adding four rebounds and four assists to her line. Classmate Shaniquewa Barnes (Landover, Md.) had a team-high 12 boards and scored 14 points for her seventh double-double of the year, and sophomore Chloe Longe (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) notched her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Gilman went 12-22 from the floor while stuffing 10 SVC shots in the first half to register her triple-double in the opening 20 minutes; her blocks total ties the all-time DWC single game record, a mark she also put up at Elms College back on February 2. Sophomore Amanda Dargie (Melbourne, Fla.) recorded 12 points and four rebounds for the Eagles, and junior captain Kayla Free (Quincy, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points, eight rebounds and a game-high nine assists in the win. Freshman Desiree McGee (Spring Hill, Fla.) came off the DWC bench to have 11 rebounds, eight points and six steals in reserve time.
SVC shot 24.7 percent (20-81) from the floor on the night while the Eagles connected on 30.4 percent (24-79) of their field goal attempts. Daniel Webster grabbed a 63-57 edge on the glass and outscored Southern Vermont by a 23-16 margin in points off turnovers. Both teams had 15 second-chance points, and DWC narrowly edged the Mountaineers in the paint by a 36-32 tally.
A pair of Barnes free throws in the early going put SVC in front 4-3, but the Eagles would go back ahead on a strong run. A Free jumper sparked a 10-0 DWC stretch through the 4:27 mark of the first quarter, Gilman adding the next three baskets to score seven of the visitors' points in that time. Flagg scored two consecutive buckets to make it a 13-8 Daniel Webster edge, and a Longe triple in the final minute of the frame made it 15-12 in favor of the Eagles.
Shortly into the ensuing period, Flagg dropped a basket from downtown and added a quick layup, tying the game at 17-17. A trey by DWC sophomore Amanda Gendron (Mont Vernon, N.H.) put her team back up by five, and the teams traded scores through the midpoint of the quarter for Daniel Webster to lead 24-22. A deep drain by Free helped the Eagles grab the next six points, only to see SVC close out the half with six unanswered of its own to make it a 30-28 game at halftime. Mountaineer sophomore Danielle Simmons (Rensselaer, N.Y.) had the first two buckets of that spurt before freshman Amber Lesure (Cheshire, Mass.) got a layup to go with 22 ticks on the clock.
Barnes connected on 1-of-2 free throws out of the intermission to trim the SVC deficit to one, and she then did it again after a Dargie three-pointer to keep it a one-possession game. Four straight Daniel Webster free throws extended the Eagles' advantage to five points at 37-32, but that's when Southern Vermont climbed back to regain the upper hand with six fast, unanswered points; Simmons completed an and-one play in that spurt before Longe hit a jumper to put SVC up 38-37. The Mountaineers' lead wouldn't last long, however, as Gilman notched two baskets during a responding 7-0 DWC run for an advantage the Eagles would not relinquish. Longe and Barnes hit back-to-back shots just north of the 1:00 mark to trim it down to a 44-42 Daniel Webster upper hand, and a final Eagle free throw put the visitors on top by three going to the final stanza.
DWC had a strong start to the fourth quarter, padding its lead with a 7-1 run that included five points from Gilman. Consecutive SVC scores cut it back to a five-point Eagle advantage, but Gilman's post play continued to thwart the Mountaineers on both ends of the floor as Daniel Webster slowly pushed it back to a double-digit Southern Vermont deficit. A three-ball by DWC senior captain Ashley England (Old Town, Maine) put her team up 63-50 with 3:42 left to play, and the teams traded scores over the next couple minutes. Barnes hit a layup and followed with two free throws to set the score at 65-56, but the Eagles were efficient enough from the charity stripe down the stretch to prevent a comeback and close out the league victory.