CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College freshman forward Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) and senior forward Erika Murphy (Torrington, Conn.) each scored a game-high 26 points as the Blazers surged past Anna Maria College, 71-53 in Wednesday night's non-conference women's basketball contest at Picknelly Arena.
Elms notches its sixth straight win over Anna Maria since the 1985-86 season and improves to 2-2 overall, while the AMCATS fall to 2-2 on the season.
Leading 20-17 with 7:57 remaining in the opening period, Elms scored eight unanswered points over the next 4:41 highlighted by a pair of Murphy buckets and one from Parks to give the Blazers a 28-17 lead.
A free throw each by Samantha Ashton (Worcester, Mass.) and Chelsea Blair (Holland, Mass.) as well as a put-back layup by Blair pulled Anna Maria to within seven at 28-21 with 1:11 to play in the period. A Parks jumper with 34 seconds on the clock allowed Elms to carry a 30-21 lead into intermission.
Parks netted 12 points in the opening 20 minutes, Murphy added nine and the Blazers took advantage of 14 missed three-point field goal attempts (1 for 15) by the AMCATS to stake its 11-point halftime cushion.
Elms scored 14 of the first 19 points to extend its lead to 44-26 at the 16:47 mark, and then used a 19-7 run over the next 4:19 to open a 30-point lead over the AMCATS.
Parks scored seven points and Murphy added four to help spark the surge, while Blazers' junior guard Jennifer Normandie (Westford, Mass.) chipped in four points off the bench. Sophomore guard Taylor Darby (Briston, Conn.) and sophomore forward Nicolette Martin (Colchester, Conn.) added a bucket apiece during the stretch to propel the Blazers' to a 63-33 advantage with 12:28 remaining in the game.
Trailing 69-40, Anna Maria used an 11-0 run highlighted by a Liz Sama (Windsor, Conn.) three-pointer to cut the deficit to 18 at 69-51 with 2:42 to play in the game but could get no closer as Elms sealed the 71-53 victory.
Murphy recorded a double-double, adding 10 rebounds to her 26 point-effort, while senior guard Katie Condon (Sandy Hook, Conn.) hauled in eight boards and recorded three steals.
Sophomore guard Ellen Donohue (Southington, Conn.) helped pace Elms' offensive output with six assists, while sophomore guard Emily Boucher (Ashburnham, Mass.) and Murphy dished out four helpers each. Sophomore guard Marisabel Santiago (Springfield, Mass.) added four steals in the winning effort for the Blazers.
Ashton registered a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Blair was a tremendous force inside with a game-high 16 boards and five blocked shots in addition to her seven points.
Anna Maria went 4 for 28 from beyond the arc (14.3-percent) while the Blazers were limited to just 1 of 8 shooting from three-point range. Elms recorded a 42.9 field goal percentage (33 for 77), while the AMCATS hit on 21 of 66 from the floor for a 31.8 clip.
Elms returns to non-conference action on Saturday, Dec. 3 when it hosts Bard College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. at Picknelly Arena.