CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Lesley University's ferocious fourth quarter comeback came up short as Bay Path University held on to spoil Senior Night for the Lynx, edging past their hosts 68-64 in New England Collegiate Conference action tonight at the Nicholas Athletics Center.
Prior to the game, the Lynx honored their three seniors Ari Dimou (Manchester, N.H.), Anthea Rathjens (Sudbury, Mass.), and Hayley Wirth (Escondido, Calif.) for their contributions and dedication to the women's basketball program and the Lesley Athletics Department.
Trailing by 18 with 2:32 left in the third, the Lynx would close out the quarter with five unanswered points to quickly cut the lead to 12, 50-38. The momentum would carry over after the third as a pair of Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass.) treys helped fuel an 11-2 streak over the opening 3:56 of play in the final quarter to pull the hosts within three, 52-49.
The Wildcats would respond with a quick 4-2 spurt before a Dimou layup and a three from Courtney Goggin (Cheshire, Conn.) would knot the game at 56-56 with 2:33 to go in regulation. The teams would then exchange free throws to carry a 58-58 tie under the two minute mark.
Two more Bay Path freebies from junior Dallas Jackson (Springfield, Mass.) put the Wildcats back in front by two before Pereira would knock down 1-of-2 from the line to cut the deficit back to one with 1:09 to play.
On the ensuing Bay Path possession, junior Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Mass.) completed a clutch old-fashioned three-point play to make it a two possession game with one minute on the clock. The Lynx drew fouls on each of their next two chances down the floor, but only converted 2-of-4 from the line while Gordon and Jackson combined to hit 5-of-6 down the stretch from the stripe to seal the win.
Gordon's and-one layup was the only Wildcats field goal of the final 4:43 of play, but the visitors combined to hit 9-of-13 free throw attempts in the final two minutes of play to supply the offense and snap a seven-game losing skid.
Gordon led all players with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds while Haylette provided a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards for the Wildcats. Jackson, who was in foul trouble for most of the night, finished with 11 points and nine rebounds while Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) drained three from beyond the arc on her way to 11 points.
Pereira paced the attack for the Lynx with a team-high 20 points and five assists while Dimou capped her career with a 16 point, seven rebound performance. Goggin added 11 points off the bench for the hosts while Wirth finished with six points while corralling a career-best eight rebounds. Rathjens pulled down nine boards to go with three points and a pair of assists.
Bay Path will wrap up their season on Saturday at home against Elms at 1:00p. The Lynx conclude their season with a 1-24 overall mark.