Women’s Basketball Downs Bay Path 53-29 for First NECC Victory

di smith puts up a shot

BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College picked up its first New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball win of the year Tuesday night—cruising to a 53-29 victory over Bay Path University at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.

SVC was dominant through the opening 20 minutes to go into the break ahead 31-6. That separation caused the Mountaineers getting outscored 23-22 in the second half to be inconsequential as the home team walked to the league victory.

Southern Vermont (3-4, 1-2 NECC) is next in action at 1 p.m. on Saturday with an NECC tilt at Newbury College. The Wildcats also take on NC in their next game—visiting the Nighthawks on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

A pair of Mountaineer freshmen posted season-highs in the points column to lead the hosts; Ahmyria Simmons (Silver Spring, Md.) had a game-best 16 points in 29 minutes off the bench, and Liv Pressley (Richmondville, N.Y.) followed with 11 and four rebounds. Freshman Julia Ryan (Clifton Park, N.Y.) pulled down an SVC-high six rebounds to go with her three steals, two points, and two blocks.

Bay Path sophomore Emmeline Bronson (Shelton, Conn.) and freshman Yakira Edwards (Waterbury, Conn.) each had a team-leading 11 points while adding four and five rebounds, respectively. Senior Samantha Drapinski (Malden, Mass.) had four points in addition to her game-high eight boards.

SVC had a 38-34 edge in rebounds, but both teams scored 12 second-chance points on the night. Southern Vermont totaled 15 steals as BPU turned the ball over 31 times to the Mountaineers' 16 giveaways; SVC utilized that difference to outscore the Wildcats 12-3 in points off turnovers.

An administrative technical foul assessed to Southern Vermont saw Bay Path go up 2-0 before the opening tip; however, BPU would not score again until there was 3:09 left to go in the second quarter as the Mountaineers ran away with it.

The SVC defense forced the Wildcats to work deep into the shot clock through many of their first quarter possessions, and the Mountaineers chalked up five steals in the opening 10 minutes to go in front 14-2. Pressley had six of her points in the first stanza to help Southern Vermont build its advantage.

Simmons heated up in the second frame—scoring nine points in a 13-0 stretch. The Mountaineers would go into the locker room on top by 25, and they kept Bay Path from staging a comeback through the second half to seal the victory.