HOLYOKE, Mass.- In another New England Collegiate Conference Battle the Wildcats Down the Lynx of Lesley College 68-57 this afternoon at the Bartley Center during Senior Day Festivities. Seniors' forward Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, Mass.), guard guard Justine Hook (Berwick, Penn.) and guard Jessica Santiago (Holyoke, Mass.) led their team to hard fought victory. Skiffington and Hook combined for 46 points with NECC Player of the Week Skiffington topping all players with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Hook's late surge from downtown hitting four of her five treys in the final six minutes of play changing the course of the game.
Both teams battled for points in the first half with the Lynx senior guard Sarah Apgar (Andover, N.J.) knotted the game hitting three from the charity stripe in the final seconds of the first half sending both teams to the locker room 27-27. Apgar finished with 10 points. Leading Lesley was junior center Grace Amato (South Royalton, Vt.) with 18 points ten of which came from the free-throw line. Defensively, senior forward Nicole Mecurio (Wakefield, Mass.) added eleven rebounds and nine points.
The Wildcats surge began in the final ten minutes of play when at 10:48 junior guard Toni Alexander (Enfield, Conn.) hit a trey off a dish by freshman guard Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Mass.). Amato would answer the call knotting it again on a made jump shot at 10:46. Skiffington would make two from the line gaining the lead 40-38. Sophomore center Gladys Reed (Hampden, Conn.) would hit a putback next at 8:52 for the Wildcats.
The Lynx sophomore guard Ari Dimou (Manchester, N.H.) would nail a three point conversion at the seven minute mark,, while Alexander and junior forward Katherine Chabot (Brookfield, Mass.) would each go 1-for-2 from the charity strip taking the score 46-41 at 6:23 on the clock after Lesley's second technical foul of the game.
Once again Lesley would make a trip to the line with senior guard Emily Fleming (Medford, Mass.) hitting both bringing it back to within three 46-43. Chabot would answer for a layup, while Amato would hit a free throw at 5:51.
At 5:49 on the clock Hook would begin her terror from downtown nailing four three's nailing the lid shut for the Wildcats. Despite an singular effort by Amato who added five points in this time frame. Santiago would score the final point for the Wildcats from the charity stripe.
Bay Path is now 7-13 on the season and 6-7 in the NECC, while Lesley falls to 2-18 overall and 2-11 in conference play. Bay Path will be back in action on Tuesday, February 4th hosting Elms at a 8:00 p.m. tip-off, while Lesley will host Daniel Webster at 8:00 p.m. as well.
At the beginning of this week, Skiffington was named NECC POW for a weekly effort of 28.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg. She became Bay Path's 5th player in history to hit the 1,000 point mark with 30 in a tough loss against top ranked Regis College. Skiffington for her three year career at Bay Path is currently at 1,056 points, 670 rebounds, 59 blocks, 2,103 minutes played for 63 starts.
Hook who is the only four-year starter is at 833 points, 328 rebounds, 178 assists, 130 three points for 63 starts and 2,221 minutes played.
Santiago a two-year transfer from HCC has played 32 games with 617 minutes accumulating 105 points and 101 rebounds.