HOLYOKE, Mass.—The Wildcats of Bay Path opened up the 2011 year with a tough 74-54 loss to New England Collegiate Conferece (NECC) rival the Blazers of Elms College in a local rivalry. Despite the defeat, sophomore guard Brittney Alexander (Enfield, Conn.) came back strong in the second half after sitting 15 minutes due to foul trouble and scored the game high 14 points for the Wildcats in the final ten minutes of play.
Coming off the tip, both teams were very sluggish unable to make some runs. Elms lead the first five minutes with Bay Path slowing launching a comeback with freshman forward Symone Watson (Hamden, Conn.) hitting a jumper at 15:26 proceeded by senior Sam Hahn (Hadley, Mass.) adding two more to put the scoreboard at 7-to-8. Freshman point guard Justine Hook (Berwick, Penn.) grabbed a stael and drove it in for two on a fast break to gain the advantage 9-to-8 at 12:01 in the first half.
Elms would answer the call at 11:14 on the clock with a jumper by junior forward Erika Murphy (Torrington, Conn.) and never look back. The Blazers went up by 19 points heading into the locker room after freshman reservist Taylor Darby (Bristol, Conn.) nailed a trey from downtown in the final seconds of the half with a score of 33-14.
Bay Path would go on a tear with just under eight minutes left in the game with the combo of Alexander and Hook combining for ten points including two three-pointers by Alexander. Unfortunately, all the Wildcats could cut the score was by twenty after the Blazers had a 31 point advantage over Bay Path in the first ten minutes of the second half.
Five Blazers score in the double figures including Murphy who grabbed a double double while leading her team with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jen Normandie (Westford, Mass.) added 12 points and eight boards. Darby and freshman guard Ellen Donohue (Southington, Conn.) each tallied eleven points with Darby nailing three treys. Fellow freshman gurad Emily Boucher (Ashburnham, Mass.) chipped in ten points.
Freshman forward Taylor Riley (Colchester, Vt.) also scored double figures for Bay Path with a career-high ten points, while Hook finished with 13 points, five boards and four steals. Alexander had seven rebounds along with senior guard Katie Begin (Weare, N.H.). Hahn finished with six rebounds a four points, while Begin added nine points.
Elms is now 3-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play, while Bay Path is 0-10 on the season and 0-2 in the NECC. Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday the 11th for more NECC play with Bay Oath traveling to face Newbury at 7:00 p.m. and Elms on the road playing Becker at 6:00 p.m.