BENNINGTON, Vt. – A 20-point lead diminished to just four late in the game, but the Southern Vermont College women's basketball team was able to hold on for a 69-63 victory over visiting Lesley University Tuesday evening at the Mountaineer Athletic Center in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play.
The Mountaineers get back to .500 in the conference (3-10 overall, 3-3 NECC) with their second-straight win while the Lynx fall to 1-11 on the year, 0-6 in NECC play.
SVC freshman Sarah McDonald (Cohoes, N.Y.) led the team with a career-high 16 points and recorded her first collegiate double-double by adding 11 rebounds. Lesley freshman Shannon Baker (Lynnbrook, N.Y.) led all players with 30 points including 12 in the last six minutes to narrow the Mountaineer lead; she was 8-for-18 from 3-point range.
The game was closely contested early on as the teams swapped leads with neither finding itself ahead more than four until midway through the first half when Southern Vermont freshman Javasha White (Schenectady, N.Y.) converted two three throws and McDonald added a layup to bring the score to 21-14. A pair of White shots from the line capped a 13-0 SVC run to give it the 25-14 edge.
The Mountaineers continued to increase their lead from the charity stripe once in the bonus late in the half to go into the break ahead 41-29; they hit 14 of their 19 shots at the line in the first. White had 12 of her 13 points on the night in the opening stanza off the bench.
SVC came out of halftime and was able to break the Lesley press to put in two quick baskets, giving the appearance that the Mountaineers might run away with the game. The Lynx continued to work the ball and find open shots as a Baker jumper and deep look were followed by a layup from junior captain Sarah Apgar (Andover, N.J.) to bring the Southern Vermont lead down to nine.
McDonald continued to be effective down low and freshman Nicole Principato (Quincy, Mass.) helped with four of her six points to increase the Mountaineer lead to 65-45 headed into the final stretch. However, Baker stepped up with a huge three to spark an 18-2 run over the next five minutes. Up by just four, SVC freshman Mariah Anthony (Northfield, Mass.) hit two free throws to ultimately seal the deal for the Mountaineers.
Southern Vermont out-rebounded the Linx 66-42 with freshman Kala MacKenzie (Fair Haven, Vt.) grabbing a game-high 12 to go along with her nine points. The Lesley press helped cause 37 SVC turnovers to its own 19, however LU only gained a 22-19 advantage from points off the mistakes.
Mountaineer freshman captain Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) finished with 13 points and three steals while Anthony saw a career-high 12 drop in the win.
LU junior captain Emily Fleming (Medord, Mass.) followed Baker with 11, nine coming in the first half, and Apgar finished with nine points on the night.
The Mountaineers will go for their third-straight on Thursday when they visit Wheelock College for an 8 p.m. tip. Lesley is also back at it on Thursday when it travels to Mitchell College for a 4 p.m. game.