Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. - The Bay Path University women's basketball team fell to visiting Southern Vermont College, 61-31, in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) clash at Picknelly Arena, on the campus of Elms College, Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats dip to 0-10 in conference play and 1-15 on the season, while the Mountaineers rise to 5-14 overall and 3-9 in NECC play.
After exchanging baskets early in the first quarter, the Mountaineers created separation with a 17-0 run over the final seven minutes of the frame. Southern Vermont had seven players register a basket during the run, featuring five points from freshman Ahmyria Simmons (Silver Spring, Md.).
Bay Path freshman Nyasia Reeves (Peekskill, N.Y.) halted the Mountaineers run, knocking down one of two free throws, to set the score at 21-3 with less than six minutes remaining in the second quarter. Wildcat sophomore Emmeline Bronson (Shelton, Conn.) followed with a fast break layup off a steal from senior Jo Nazario (Springfield, Mass.), and then converted in the paint at 1:39 to trim the gap to 26-7. Southern Vermont closed the quarter with a 5-0 run, powered by a four-point play from Simmons to make it 32-7 at the break.
The Wildcats delivered their best performance in the third quarter, outscoring Southern Vermont 13-10 in the stanza. Bay Path senior Samantha Drapinski (Malden, Mass.) opened the scoring with a three-point play, followed by a layup from Bronson to chip the deficit to 36-12 with 7:24 on the clock. Reeves knocked down a jumper, and then Bronson netted four straight points to create a 36-18 scoreaboard. Southern Vermont sandwiched treys from freshman Brittany Fulton (Bridgeport, Conn.) and junior Sarah Poirier (Ferrisburgh, Vt.) around a pair of free throws from Bronson to head the fourth with a 42-20 advantage.
The Moutaineers put the game away in the fourth quarter, using three-point efforts from juniors Di Smith (Troy, N.Y.) and Taylor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) to kick off a 19-point frame. Smith converted a three-point play, followed by a three-pointer from Fulton to build a 54-28 lead. The Wildcats final bucket came on a trey from Bronson as Southern Vermont rolled to the 61-31 win.
Bronson led the Wildcats attack with a game-high 17 points with three rebounds and two assists. Drapinski and Nazario grabbed a team-high six rebounds each.
Smith paced the Mountaineers with a double-double effort of 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Simmons added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Mallett dished out a game-high eight assists with five points.
Bay Path shot 27.8% (10-of-36) from the floor and 76.9% (10-of-13) from the foul line, while Southern Vermont connected on 40.3% (25-of-62) from the field, including 36.4% (4-of-11) from three-point range. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Wildcats, 38-25, during the contest.
The Wildcats will return to the court when they host SUNY-Delhi in a non-conference contest at the Bartley Center, on the campus of Holyoke Community College, Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Southern Vermont hosts Newbury College in NECC action Saturday at 1:00 p.m.