CHICOPEE, Mass. - The Bay Path University women's basketball squad suffered a 68-23 setback to visiting Becker College in a New England Collegiate Conference clash at Maguire Gym Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats dip to 1-8 overall and 0-2 in NECC play, while the Hawks improve to 1-0 in conference action and 2-6 on the season.
The Hawks gained control early with a 15-4 lead in the opening frame. Becker doubled up the Wildcats in the second quarter, 18-9, en route to a 33-13 halftime advantage. The Hawks held Bay Path scoreless in the third quarter with a 19-0 run as they cruised to the 68-23 victory.
Bay Path sophomore Yakira Edwards (Waterbury, Conn.) led the Wildcats in scoring with a team-high 10 points paired with eight rebounds and a steal. Junior Emmeline Bronson (Shelton, Conn.) netted nine points with an assist and a steal, while freshman Heaven Rodriguez (New Britain, Conn.) grabbed a team-high nine rebounds with three points and three steals in the loss.
Becker freshman Kira Clinkscale (Framingham, Mass.) led all scorers with a game-high 11 points with two assists and two steals off the bench. Senior Cassidy Harrison (Foxborough, Mass.) chipped in nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals, while freshman Jamie Woods (Charlton, Mass.) added eight points and four rebounds off the bench. Senior Sarah Ware (Oakham, Mass.) and sophomore Riley Berry (Margate, Fla.) each tallied seven points and freshman Natasha Pacheco (Fairfax, Va.) snared a team-high seven rebounds with six points, three assists and two steals.
The game also involved a Land Acknowledgement Ceremony at half-time to honor the Indigenous People of the Pioneer Valley. Bay Path wore a special commenorative pre-game shirt and socks for the event. Head Coach, Emily Niemann spearheaded the event which also included speakers and presenters; Dr. John Jarvis, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, Moatoqus (Black Wolf) Ortega of the Intertribal Council of Indians and Alexx Diaz of the Taino Boriquan People of Puerto Rico the indigenous people who first welcomed Christopher Columbus to this land in 1492.
Niemann summed it up that "the Bay Path University basketball program, Athletic Department and University understands that the impact of sports goes way beyond the court or the field. The coaches and leadership in this Athletic Department are invested in their student-athlete leaders growing and making positive impacts on their campus and community, and, we appreciate you sharing this game day experience with us."
What is a Land Acknowledgement? A Land Acknowledgement focuses attention on the reality that what we call "American" land belonged to Indigenous People (aka Native Americans and sometimes by American Indians). That acknowledgement is a small effort to create more awareness of and respect for Native Americans. However, stopping there is almost more disrespectful than saying nothing at all, you are noting a mass genocide of a people group and culture who has never been, and could never be, offered adequate reparations while the majority of Americans benefit from the systems built on that stolen land. As such, Land Acknowledgements with Shoreline Experiences go a step further to create a sustainable, grass roots approach to giving to Native American communities in meaningful ways by developing and maintaining partnerships with local Native American leaders. Today is a celebration of those partnerships.
Bay Path will return to action following winter break when they host New England College in NECC play on January 11 at 1:00 p.m. Becker travels to Brandeis University for a non-conference game Monday at 6:00 p.m.