Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
HOLYOKE, Mass. –The Elms College women's basketball team captured a 66-50 victory in their regular season finale against Bay Path University Saturday afternoon at Holyoke Community College. With the win, the Blazers rise to 14-11 on the season and 13-5 in the conference, while the Wildcats fall to 5-20 overall and 2-16 in the NECC.
The Wildcats initiated play firing first with a jumper off the hands of Dallas Jackson (Springfield, Mass.) to set the tone of the afternoon's back and forth contest. The Blazers would respond with a seven-point stint led by Emily Burr (East Hartford, Conn.) sinking her first three of the day at the 8:48 mark. Jackson attempted to light a spark for the Bay Path squad securing three tallies of her own, however an Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Mass.) foul would send Mariah Brown (Windsor Locks, Conn.) to the line to pick up two for Elms posting a 9-5 score with five minutes remaining in the quarter. From there, Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) posted a layup off the glass to further push the Blazers lead, followed by four back to back layups by both squads off the hands of Jackson and JC Pickett (Chicopee, Mass.) to display a 15-9 score heading into the second.
The Wildcats came out first in the second once again with a double produced by Haleigh Bassett (Miller Falls, Mass.) at the 8:02 mark. From there, a Gordon foul would send Burr to the line to snatch the easy two for Elms. Burr picked up her second three of the contest at the 6:33 tally after an Elizabeth Haylette (Terryville, Conn.) turnover ensured a Blazers gain. Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) fired back a three of her own for the Bay Path squad in an attempt to close out the deficit however the Blazers maintained their lead heading to the locker room with momentum as a Brown jumper found its home at the 19 second mark.
Jackson started hot in the third for Bay Path sinking a pair of free throws at the charity stripe to post a 30 -19 Elms score. Brown would respond with a fast break layup for the Elms squad off of a Maira Pantoja (East Windsor, Conn.) defensive rebound. This would start a 13 point run for the Blazer squad led by LaRochelle with five points in the stint, as well as Alexandra Marques (Newington, Conn.) putting up two layups in the effort. Dallas would fight back with a jumper at the 2:08 marker in an attempt to keep Bay Path alive, nevertheless Elms would head into the fourth owing a 45-22 score.
The Elms squad entered the fourth on a high note as two back to back Erin O'Donnell (Glenmont, NY.) layups found their way. Roy would post a three on the Bay Path scoreboard followed by two Gordon tallies at the charity stripe to produce a 49-27 score with eight minutes remaining. This would start an eight point stint for the Wildcats keeping hope alive for their rebuttal. The Blazers responded with two bullets from Pickett and LaRochelle to keep their lead alive and well. Throughout the fourth the Blazers saw five points from LaRochelle going 2-for-4, and seven from O'Donnell going 3-for-5 from the field. Despite Jackson's nine point effort the Elms squad was able to walk away holding a 66-50 scoreboard after a final O'Donnell free throw hit it's mark.
The Blazers were paced by Pickett totaling a team high 14 points going 7-for-10 on the floor while collecting seven rebounds. LaRochelle collected 12 points on the day for Elms going 5-for-11 on the floor.
The Wildcats were paced by game high scorer Jackson tallying 22 points and 13 rebounds in the effort. Roy posted 14 points for Bay Path.
The Blazers totaled 49.0% from the field (24-49), including 28.6% from the three-point line (2-7). The Wildcats shot 30.9% from the floor (17-55) and 63.2% from the foul line (12-19).
The Blazers have earned a berth in the NECC postseason and will find out their seed in the tournament when regular season competition closes Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats concluded their play for the season.