Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
LEICESTER, Mass. – The Elms College women's basketball squad delivered a 69-60 comeback victory over host Becker College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) tip battle at Leicester Gymnasium Thursday evening. With the win, the Blazers rise to 12-8 overall and 10-3 in the NECC, while the Hawks fall to 9-3 in conference play, and 9-9 on the season.
Elms freshman Molly Moulton (North Adams, Mass.) initiated the scoring efforts for Elms snagging a tally off the glass to get the contest going. From there, Becker responded with a freshman Cassidy Harrison (Foxborough, Mass.) production inside the paint to hint at what continued to be a battle to the finish. Starting at the 8:40 time slot, Becker embarked on an 8-2 run, headed by sophomore Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, Conn.) with four scores. Junior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) responded with back-to-back successful takes from the inside to put Elms within one score as they trailed 10-8. Moulton continued to stagger the defense capturing a jumper followed by a take at the charity stripe to give Elms back the lead. Nevertheless, Becker rallied including a three point blast off the hands of Harrison to head into the second owning a 17-15 scoreboard.
The Hawks came out strong at the start of the second honing a freshmen Kesley Maynard (Millville, Mass.) three point blast in an effort to widen the gap. LaRochelle combatted for the Blazers securing two from the stripe. At the 5:24 marker, Elms saw their first three of the contest off the hands of LaRochelle as she remained the only Blazer to see a successful scoring opportunity continuing on to capture yet another two off the glass at 4:29. Becker responded with a Dowdy layup to keep things in motion followed by a sophomore Katey Anderson (Beachwood, N.J.) far three point score. The Blazers continued to see productions from senior Emily Burr (East Hartford, Conn.) and senior Alexandra Marques (Newington, Conn.) however Becker would head into the locker room owning a 38-29 score.
Elms struck first in the third with a pair of Moulton tallies from the charity stripe. From there the Blazers headed on a 10-4 run headed by Moulton's 4-for-4 makes at the line. Sophomore Ciara McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) played a vital role for the Hawks to keep their lead steady posting back to back jumpers in the effort. With 1:35 remaining in the quarter a pair of Moulton free throws secured a tied 45-45 score to which Becker would retaliate with a McKissick take at the line as well. Nevertheless Moulton secured another pair of baskets from the stripe with four seconds remaining to send Elms into the fourth carrying a 50-46 lead.
As the fourth ensued both squads went back to back inside the paint followed by a McKissick layup to put Becker within one score. Both squads were then kept out of the scoring column until the 8:00 minute marker when sophomore Chaniah Pantry (New Haven, Conn.) posted a layup followed by a score from the stripe off of a Becker foul to keep the Elms lead alive and well. Despite Hawk efforts Elms would carry this momentum into the final minutes of action with LaRochelle totaling six points in the quarter followed by Burr's five tallies.
The Blazers saw powerful play from LaRochelle who totaled a game high 24 points alongside seven rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Moulton secured 15 points in the victory followed by Burr's 13 points and four assists.
The Hawks were paced McKissick's 14 points and eight rebounds followed by Harrison's 14 points and three rebounds.
The Blazers edged the Hawks in rebounds, 37-36, and second chance points, 13-11. Elms connected on 46.3% (25-54) from the field and 65.2% (15-23) from the stripe. Becker shot 38.6% (22-57) from the floor and 50.0% (12-24) from the free throw line.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column as they play host to Lesley for a 6:00 p.m. start time February 8th. Becker will play host to Lesley February 4th for a 1:00 p.m. tip off.