HOLYOKE, Mass. – Shooting 47.0 percent from the floor, Southern Vermont College defeated Bay Path College 73-58 Wednesday night at Bartley Center on the Holyoke Community College campus in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action.
Mountaineer sophomore forward Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) notched her fourth double-double of the season with game-highs of 22 points and 13 rebounds, adding two blocks, two steals and two assists on the evening. Wildcat senior Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, Mass.) topped the team with 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds for the double-double.
Southern Vermont outscored Bay Path in each half as the Mountaineers committed just 12 turnovers to BPC's 19. SVC was able to turn those Wildcat mishaps into 22 points while Bay Path scored just 10 off the Mountaineer giveaways. The paint game was evenly matched with BPC owning a slight 41-38 advantage on the boards and Southern Vermont having a 32-28 scoring edge in the key.
SVC sophomore guard Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) recorded 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a game-high six steals. Sophomore forward Sarah McDonald (Cohoes, N.Y.) added 12 points and three boards despite having her minutes limited after picking up her fourth personal foul with 8:35 to play in the game. Freshman guard Amber Dow (Panton, Vt.) chipped in with seven points, six rebounds and three assists in the win.
Skiffington added three blocks and two steals to her night's line. She was followed on the Bay Path side by freshman Briana Kujawski (Webster, Mass.) who tallied 13 points and four rebounds coming off the bench. Wildcat sophomore center Gladys Reed (Hampden, Conn.) led all players with 13 caroms to go with her nine points and two blocks.
A MacKenzie basket on the game's first possession gave Southern Vermont an early advantage, and the Mountaineers would never trail the rest of the way. SVC then increased its lead to 15-5 with a Dow three-pointer at the 15:42 mark. From there, Southern Vermont continued to connect on the offensive end to put a comfortable cushion between itself and the hosts.
A jumper by Mountaineer freshman Abbi Molner (Wilmington, Vt.) midway through the opening period set the score at 28-9 before the Wildcats went on an 11-2 run to trim the SVC lead to 30-20. Bay Path used four converted free throws in the closing 62 seconds of the first half to cut the Mountaineer advantage to just seven at 38-31 going into the break.
Coming out of the intermission, the Wildcats got even closer with an early layup by junior Katherine Chabot (Brookfield, Mass.), making it 38-33 in favor of Southern Vermont. But that would be the closest Bay Path would get the rest of the night as SVC took to an 11-2 run and continued to widen the gap for the remainder of the game. The Mountaineers eventually led by 21 when the score stood at 68-47 after a MacKenzie layup with 5:09 to go in the game, and they never turned back.
The Mountaineers (6-18, 4-13 NECC) conclude the 2013-14 season Saturday with their Senior and Pink Out Day, hosting Mitchell College for a 1 p.m. tip. Bay Path (7-16, 6-10 NECC) visits Newbury College Saturday for a 12 p.m. conference contest.