Lesley University Roars Past Bay Path College, 69-39

Lesley University Roars Past Bay Path College, 69-39

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.

--Chris Attwood