Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's basketball squad fell to New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) rival Becker College, 63-56, in an intense back-and-forth battle at Picknelly Arena Tuesday evening. With the loss, the Blazers drop to 5-6 overall and 3-2 in the NECC, while the Hawks soar to 5-0 in conference play, and 5-6 on the season.
The Blazers took charge of the opening minutes of action posting their first tally of the night at the 8:44 mark off the hands of sophomore Chaniah Pantry (New Haven, Conn.). From there, the Hawks took control going on an 8-3 stint, headed by sophomore Katey Anderson's (Beachwood, N.J.) four scores. The Blazers remained consistent in the paint dishing out layups off the hands of Pantry and freshmen Molly Mouton (North Adams, Mass.) to regain the lead and head into the second owning an 11-9 advantage.
Elms came out hot to start the second with sophomore Kayla Aberdale (Housatonic, Mass.) posting the first three of the night to keep the Hawks at bay. Despite Blazer efforts, the Hawks would come out strong in the paint during the quarter posting eight points from the inside, with sophomore Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, Conn.) securing six points. However, Pantry and senior Alexandra Marques (Newington, Conn.) both totaled four points in the time slot to send the Blazers into the break holding on to a 23-21 advantage.
The third quarter began a back and forth spin that ultimately ended in the Hawks taking control of the board. Junior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) kicked things off for Elms posting a jumper ten seconds in to which the Hawks responded with a pair of back to back shots at the stripe after a Pantry foul sent Dowdy to the line for two. Becker saw a surge of momentum after Dowdy notched a far three at the 7:02 mark to bring the Hawks within one. Freshmen Cassidy Harrison (Foxborough, Mass.) continued the three point barrage for Becker tallying her first three of the evening at 5:23 to which Dowdy followed with another three point play only seventy seconds later to create a 36-31 Becker scoreboard. Despite Blazer efforts including a senior Emily Burr (East Hartford, Conn.) three point buzzer beater to close out the quarter Becker headed into the fourth owning a 42-39 advantage.
Tensions were high at the start of the fourth with Pantry producing the first strike to bring the Blazers within one, followed by a tally from Marques to give Elms back the lead. Harrison would come up big for the Hawks striking another three onto the board at 4:51 to give the Hawks a 49-45 advantage that they would nurse until the final buzzer eventually winning the contest with a 63-56 score.
The Blazers had two scorers in double figures, led by Marques, who logged her sixth double-double of the season with a team-high 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Pantry netted 10 points and eight rebounds in the effort. Mouton and LaRochelle each netted eight points for the Blazer squad while Aberdale produced six.
Dowdy paced the Hawks with a double-double effort, recording game-highs in points and rebounds with 30 and 13, respectively. Harrison totaled 14 points in the victory while sophomore Ciara McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) notched six points, nine rebounds, and a game-high four steals.
The Blazers edged the Hawks in points in the paint (28-22) and bench points (9-7) during the contest. Elms connected on 31.3% (21-67) from the field and 62.5% (10-16) from the free throw line. Becker shot 35.7% (20-56) from the floor, 27.8% (5-18) from three-point range, and 72.0% (18-25) from the free throw stripe.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they travel to Lesley for an NECC matchup January 12th for an 8:00p.m. start time. The Hawks will play host to Regis (Mass.) on the 12th as well at 5:30p.m.