HOLYOKE, Mass. Lesley University's Brianne Caira (Pelham, N.H.) netted a game-high 23 points including 19 in the first half to help pace the Lynx to a convincing 69-39 victory over Bay Path College in Thursday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball game.
With the win, Lesley improves to 3-7 overall, 3-0 in NECC action, while Bay Path moves to 0-12 overall, 0-4 in league play.
Lesley found a groove early, posting a 17-6 lead 7:51 into the contest highlighted by 11 points from Caira, four from Rachael O'Mara (Levittown, N.Y.) and a pair of free throws from Kaitlyn Wechsler (Merrick, N.Y.).
A layup by Bay Path's Taylor Riley (Colchester, Vt.) and a three-pointer from Justine Hook (Berwick, Pa.) bookended another layup by Caira and cut the Lynx's lead to eight at 19-11 with 8:54 to play in the opening stanza.
Lesley responded by scoring 10 of the next 11 points on the strength of two more baskets by Caira, two from O'Mara and one from Wechsler to stake a commanding 29-12 lead at the 3:48 mark.
Riley answered with a jumper, Brittany Alexander (Enfield, Conn.) sank two foul shots, and Katie Begin (Weare, N.H.) swished a trey to pull the Wildcats to within 12 at 31-19 with 1:40 to play in the frame before Caira and Cassidy Freed (Brattleboro, Vt.) converted two layups to give Lesley a 35-20 lead at halftime.
Lesley opened the second half on an 11-4 run to set the score at 46-24 with 14:38 to play in the contest.
Back-to-back strikes from beyond the arc by Hook pulled Bay Path to within at the 13:05 mark, a pair of free throws by Hook at the 11:05 mark, and a jumper by Sam Hahn (Hadley, Mass.) at the 8:36 mark each cut the Wildcats' deficit to 16 but that's as close as they would get as the Lynx maintained at least an 18-point cushion for the remainder of the game and led by as many as 30 en route to a 69-39 victory.
O'Mara notched 14 points and four steals on 7 of 11 shooting from the field, while Wechsler netted 11 points to round out three Lesley players in double figures.
Freed totaled a game-high 13 rebounds, swatted three shots and added six points, while Emily Fleming (Medford, Mass.) dished out a game-best seven assists to help pace the Lynx offense that hit at a staggering 54.5-percent from the floor for the game.
Hook led the Wildcats in defeat with a team-high 13 points while Hahn and Riley contributed eight points apiece.
Lesley out-rebounded Bay Path 40-23, scored 48 points in the paint compared to the Wildcats' eight, and scored 25 points on 25 Bay Path turnovers.
February 18, 2011 Hook Earns Final NECC Rookie of the Week Honors
February 14, 2011 Wildcats Basketball Team and SAAC Host WBCA Pink Zone Game
February 12, 2011 Lesley Cruises Past Bay Path During Pink Zone Night In Cambridge
February 10, 2011 Mountaineers Climb Past Wildcats 74-46 during Pink Zone Night
February 8, 2011 Bay Path Falls to Mount Ida 71-41
February 5, 2011 Hawks Soar Past Wildcats despite Late Bay Path Surge
February 3, 2011 Wheelock Wins Battle of Wildcats, 52-38
January 29, 2011 Daniel Webster Streak Hits 15 As Eagles Roll Past Bay Path
January 24, 2011 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HOLDS FREE BASKETBALL CLINIC FOR LOCAL GIRLS
January 22, 2011 Nighthawks Sneak By Bay Path 63-46
January 20, 2011 Blazers Roar Past Wildcats 66-44
January 17, 2011 DANIEL WEBSTER SOARS BY BAY PATH, 80-30
January 15, 2011 Mariners breeze by Bay Path, 68-32
January 14, 2011 Lesley University Roars Past Bay Path College, 69-39
January 12, 2011 White's Career Game-High Leads Nighthawks to Victory Over Wildcats
January 11, 2011 Hook Awarded NECC Women's Hoops Rookie of the Week
December 13, 2010 Hook Hooks NECC Rookie of the Week Awards
December 11, 2010 Wheelock Wins Battle of Wildcats in Final Seconds
December 4, 2010 Bay Path Falls to Johnson State
December 3, 2010 Lyndon Hornets Stings Wildcats
November 22, 2010 Hook Earns First 2010 NECC Rookie of the Week Honors