Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College Women's Basketball team triumphed over visiting Bay Path University, 68-57, in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play Saturday afternoon. With the win the Blazers improve to 7-9 on the season and 6-3 in the NECC while the Wildcats drop to 3-12 overall and 0-8 in conference play.
Emily Burr (East Hartford, Conn.) started off hot for the Blazers quickly netting her first three of the afternoon 17 seconds into the first quarter. Burr would continue on to clinch eight of the first nine points of the contest setting the Blazers up with a 9-0 lead. Elizabeth Haylette (Terryville, Conn.) found the backboard for two at the 8:40 mark putting Bay Path on the board. Elms quickly responded with a JC Pickett (Chicopee, Mass.) layup followed by two Picket free throws to up the score to 13-2 with seven minutes to play in the quarter. Haleigh Bassett (Millers Falls, Mass.) was able to light up the scoreboard once again for the Wildcats keeping their hopes alive as she followed up with an offensive rebound into the basket. The Blazers would continue to dominate the quarter in which they would possess their largest lead, as they were ahead by 17 points at the 2:58 mark.
Elms would continue on with the advantage heading into the second with a 23-9 score. Bassett clinched a quick two for the Wildcats to which Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) would respond with a bucket of her own. Kayla Aberdale (Housatonic, Mass.) would continue on the Elms run with her first three of the night at the 6:38 mark. The Wildcats would continue on their attempt to tighten up the score with boards from Bethany Rogers (Plymouth, Mass.) and Dallas Jackson (Springfield, Mass.). After two good free throws off the hands of Bassett the Wildcats were within ten once again. The Blazers however were able to hold their lead heading into the locker room with a 34-24 advantage.
At the start of the third tensions were high in Picknelly arena as the Wildcats started off on an eight point run led by Samantha Drapinski (Malden, Mass.) to bring their score within six. Pickett was able to connect with a layup rising the deficit back to eight. As back and forth play ensued a Heather Bailey (Williamstown, VT.) jumper would reestablish the Blazers ten point lead at the 2:57 mark. Mariah Brown (Windsor Locks, Conn.) fought her way to the basket for a quick two followed by an Aberdale three with six seconds remaining to end the quarter with a 49-36 score.
Jackson started out strong in the fourth for Bay Path sending a quick bullet to the scoreboard. Bassett shortly followed with a put back off of an offensive rebound to bring the Wildcats within nine. Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) snatched a deep three at the 8:34 mark keeping Bay Path alive. A Jackson foul sent Burr to the line to easily net a double for Elms. Alexandra Marques (Newington, Conn.) would follow with a free throw of her own leaving the scoreboard with a 52-45 showing with 6:44 left to play. Burr went on to hit two deep three's ultimately going 3-for-7 on the night. LaRochelle connected with the net upping the score to 62-50 with three minutes to play. The Blazers would nurse their lead until the final buzzer ultimately closing the afternoon owning a 68-57 score.
"We had a few really good days of practice, worked on our start defensively, and hit some shots early, which helped us get off to a strong start," said Elms Head Coach Michelle Proulx. "We started to get a little complacent on offense and defense after taking the lead in the first quarter. We switched up our defenses in the second half, and work on a few things we need to improve. We worked well within [Bay Path's] zone, and we were able to put together a run in the second half and make our free throws to close it out. We always get a tough game from Bay Path, and we knew that we needed to come out strong, which we did. We are going to start watching film [on Newbury], we haven't played them since December, so we are going to work on the little things and come out ready to face Newbury."
The Blazers were paced by game high scorer Emily Burr who totaled 18 points and five rebounds. Mariah Brown dished out a team high ten assists on the afternoon.
The Wildcats were paced by Jackson who collected 13 points going 6- for- 17 on the floor while collecting 10 rebounds. Bassett tallied 11 points and two rebounds for Bay Path.
The Blazers edged the Wildcats in assists (16-11) and bench points (25-13). The Blazers totaled 34.8% from the field (23-66), including 33.3% from the three-point line (5-15), and 70.8% from the foul line (17-24). Bay Path shot 39.3% from the floor (24-61), 22.2% from three point range (2-9), and 50.0% from the foul line (7-14).
The Blazers will host Newbury for a conference tilt Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. The Wildcats will host Lesley January 26th at 8:00 p.m.