CAMBRIDGE, MA – Bay Path College (2-6, 2-2 NECC) held Lesley University (0-9, 0-4) scoreless over the last seven minutes, took the lead for good on a Je'Quanna Orr layup and ended the game on a 9-0 run in the Wildcats 45-39 victory over the Lynx in New England Collegiate Conference women's basketball action Thursday night at Nicholas Athletics Center.
An Emily Fleming (Medford, MA/Matignon) three-pointer broke a 36-36 tie at the 7:03 mark, but it turned out to be the Lynx last basket. Bay Path chipped away at its three-point deficit over the next five minutes, and Orr (East Hartford, CT/Hartford High) drove down the middle of the paint for a finger roll layup at the 1:11 mark to put the Wildcats ahead 41-39 with the game-winner.
While the Wildcats ended the night on a 9-0 run, they also opened it with a nine-point lead, as a Brittney Alexander (Enfield, CT/Enrico Fermi) three-pointer put Bay Path on top 11-2 just inside the 12:00 mark. The Lynx battled back to tie the game at 13-13 thanks to back-to-back jumpers from Fleming, and a Sarah Apgar (Andover, NJ/Lenape Valley) jumper capped a 13-0 run that put the Lynx in front 17-13 with under 5:00 remaining in the half.
Tied at 19-19, an Apgar bucket just outside the 1:00 mark and a Grace Amato (Sharon, VT/Woodstock Union) layup on the Lynx final possession of the half sent the home team in with its first halftime lead of the season at 23-19, outscoring Bay Path 19-6 over the final 10:00.
Apgar knocked down consecutive mid-range jumpers, each on feeds from Fleming, out of halftime, and the Lynx looked poised to capture their first win of the season leading 27-19. The Wildcats scratched away over the next several minutes, briefly taking a two-point lead on an Alexander basket inside the 13:00 mark. Lesley recaptured the lead when Chelsea Contre (Pomfret, CT/Woodstock Academy) streaked in from the left wing for two and Apgar cashed in on another jumper on the following possession to make it a 34-31 Lynx lead.
Fleming's triple reestablished the three-point lead, but it would be Lesley's last field goal. Bay Path banged the offensive boards over the final minutes, Orr dashed through the paint for the lead with 71 seconds left, and after an Amato turnaround missed for the tie, Taylor Riley's (Colchester, VT/Burlington) layup with 28 seconds left dashed any Lesley chance.
Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, MA/ELHS), who tied the contest at 39-39 with a layup and a free throw 2:49 apart, led the Wildcats with 16 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Alexander added nine points, and Riley chipped in with seven points and seven rebounds.
In her finest effort to date, Apgar led all players with 17 points, hitting eight of her first 16 shots from the field, adding eight rebounds and a game-high four steals in 40 minutes. Fleming totaled eight points, six assists, four rebounds and only three turnovers before fouling out, and Amato led the Lynx with 12 boards and two blocks.
On the night, Bay Path shot 37 free throws (14-37) to Lesley's five (3-5). The Wildcats dominated the glass, working a 58-47 advantage, including a pivotal 16-9 total on the offensive boards.
Lesley travels to Southern Vermont at 1 p.m. on Saturday, when Bay Path plays host to Mitchell College.