Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's basketball squad wrapped up their regular season with an 83-44 victory over visiting Bay Path University in a New England Collegiate Conference contest at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon.
After the Wildcats netted the first bucket of the game on a three-pointer from freshman Kaylee Herring (Worcester, Vt.), the Blazers rallied ahead on a 16-0 run, behind six points from sophomore Emily Burr (East Hartford, Conn.) to take a 16-3 lead with 16:19 to play in the half. Elms padded their lead with a 21-8 run over the next eight minutes, extending their lead to 37-12. Six consecutive points from Parks gave the Blazers their largest lead of the half, 45-15, with 5:00 on the clock. Elms took a 53-27 lead into halftime.
The scoring pace dipped in the opening minutes of the second stanza as a layup from Elms sophomore Alexandra Marques (Newington, Conn.) put the Blazers up 63-33 with 14:56 on the clock. An 11-4 run from Elms, capped off by a layup from Pickett with 7:44 to play, continued to cushion the Blazers advantage. Sophomore Heather Bailey (Williamstown,Vt.) knocked down a jumper with 3:08 remaining to give the Blazers their largest lead of the contest, 82-37, en route to the 83-44 win.
"I thought we had a pretty solid team effort," said Elms Head Coach Michelle Proulx. "Going into next week, we needed to work on a few things, and today gave us that opportunity. We were able to change our defenses a lot, which is a strength of ours, especially when we talk to each other. We've put ourselves in a good position, and now it's about finding out who we play Tuesday and doing a lot of prep work of the next two days. The key for us will be our defensive effort. When it's consistent, like it has been during second semester, I think we can compete with anyone. That's the biggest thing, and then sharing the ball offensively and everyone learning they can be a threat offensively. [The seniors] have been huge for our program. Since they arrived on campus, they've changed the program overall and who we are. No just who we are in the conference and out of our conference, but as in things like our recruiting, it's just completely changed our program. Obviously by the numbers and the record book accomplishments, but also their leadership and involvement on campus. I was happy [Gianna] broke my record early, so she could get it out of her system and wouldn't be shooting three's all game. It's a fun thing that it actually got broken during my first season of coaching."
The Blazers had four scorers post double digits, led by a double-double effort from Pickett with 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. Parks registered a double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds, while Marques added ten points, nine rebounds, and two blocks off the bench. Youngblood became Elms' all-time leader in three-pointers made, surpassing head coach Michelle Proulx, during a 14-point, seven-rebound effort. Burr and junior guard Mariah Brown (Windsor Locks, Conn.) each dished out five assists in the win.
Bay Path sophomore Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) paced the Wildcats with a game-high 19 points, connecting on six three-pointers. Sophomore Frankie Wauneka (Easthampton, Mass.) chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and three assist off the bench.
Elms outrebounded the Wildcats with a season-high 71 boards to 27 for Bay Path. The Blazers dominated the paint, 52-6, converted 23 points off turnovers, and netted 19 second-chance points. Elms connected on 42.2% (35-of-83) from the field, including 42.9% (6-of-14) from three-point, and 70% (7-of-10) from the foul line. The Wildcats shot 23.4% (15-of-64) from the field, 57.1% (8-of-14) from three-point range, and 75% (6-of-8) from the charity stripe.
With the win, the Blazers wrap the regular season with a 17-8 record, and a 15-3 mark in NECC play, while Bay Path closes out their campaign at 5-17, and 5-13 in the conference. Elms earned the #2-seed in the NECC conference tournament, and will host the #7-seed Tuesday evening in the first round.
GAME NOTES: Youngblood set the Elms mark for career three-point field goals made with 137…Pickett recorded her team-high 12th double-double of the season...Parks notched her 11th double-double of the season…Mariah Brown posted the fourth-best single season assist total with 113.