CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College freshman forward Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) scored a team-best 20 points and collected a game-high 12 rebounds and the Blazers shot 46.5-percent from the field to help secure a 79-60 victory over Mitchell College in Thursday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball game at Picknelly Arena.
With the win, Elms improves to 16-6 on the season, 13-2 in NECC action, while Mitchell slides to 6-15 overall, 5-10 in NECC play. Elms' victory Thursday evening also tied the program's single-season win mark (16) set during the 1990-91 season under head coach Kate Mullen. The Blazers will look to set a new single-season mark on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they travel to Weston, Mass. for a 1:00 p.m. game against Regis College.
In the opening period, Elms fought off an early five-point lead by Mitchell and with the score tied at 15-15 with 11:27 to play, the Blazers used a 16-5 run to stake a 31-20 lead with 5:12 to play in the stanza.
The Mariners answered with seven of the next 10 points on the strength of a trey and a field goal by Hannah Smith (Wakefield, R.I.) to pull Mitchell to within seven at 34-27 with 1:39 on the clock, but Elms' senior guard Carolyn Talmadge (Wilbraham, Mass.) swished back-to-back three-pointers and sophomore guard Ellen Donohue (Southington, Conn.) canned a trey of her own to lift Elms to a 43-29 cushion at intermission.
Both teams were stellar from the floor in the first half as Mitchell shot 48.1-percent led by Sheanna James' (Waterbury, Conn.) 13 points, while Elms hit on 50.0-percent of its shots. Parks scored 10 points, Talmadge chipped in nine points and senior forward Erika Murphy (Torrington, Conn.) added eight points in the first half.
Elms kept a double-digit lead throughout the second half, never allowing the Mariners to pull to within less than 12 points and led by as many as 20 (77-57) with 2:42 remaining in the game following a strike from beyond the arc by freshman forward Gianna Youngblood (East Freetown, Mass.).
Four Blazers' starters finished with double-figure point totals as sophomore guard Emily Boucher (Ashburnham, Mass.) followed Parks' 20-point effort with 12 points, while Talmadge and Murphy chipped in 11 points apiece.
Donohue added nine points on 4 of 4 shooting from the field, while Youngblood added eight points in the winning effort.
Parks and Murphy added 12 and 10 rebounds respectively to finish with double-doubles in the contest, while Talmadge handed out nine assists and Donohue five assists to help spark Elms' offensive effort.
James was solid in defeat for Mitchell, netting a game-high 21 points and adding six boards, while Kaylee Cerruto (Torrington, Conn.) followed with 13 points.
Bianca Young (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 12 points and Smith finished with 10 points in the losing effort.