Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
WENHAM, Mass. – The Elms College women's basketball team was handed a 56-43 defeat at the hands of Rhode Island College in the opening game of the Gordon College Tournament at the Bennett Center Friday evening. The Blazers dip to 0-2 on the season, while Rhode Island College moves to 2-0.
Play was tight early in the first quarter until back-to-back buckets from RIC sophomore Jordyn Gauvin (Fall River, Mass.) capped an 8-0 run to hand the Anchorwomen an 8-2 lead. The Blazers chipped away at the gap, and then a trey from sophomore Samantha Lynes (Berlin, Conn.) gave Elms a 9-8 advantage. A late layup from sophomore Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, R.I.) put RIC ahead 10-9 after the first quarter.
The Anchorwomen used consecutive baskets from senior Jessa Rubera (Newton, Mass.) to build a 14-9 lead in the opening minute of the second quarter. Elms trimmed the gap to 16-14 on a layup from sophomore Molly Moulton (North Adams, Mass.) at the 8:44 mark, but RIC used an 8-4 run to harness a 24-18 lead with 3:21 on the clock. Elms orchestrated a late charge as junior Nakia Mabin (Bridgeport, Conn.) and freshman Regina LeBlanc (Enfield, Conn.) sandwiched layups around a three-pointer from senior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) to regain a 25-24 lead for the Blazers at the break.
Trailing 26-24 early in the third, the Anchorwomen gained control with a 12-1 run, featuring eight points from Gauvin, to take a 36-27 lead with 6:02 on the clock. Elms closed the gap to 36-30 with less than four minutes remaining, but Livramento netted six straight points to push RIC to a 42-31 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Elms continued to battle back through the final frame as a layup from junior Niah Pantry (New Britain, Conn.) pulled the Blazers within six, 45-39. Moulton and LaRochelle knocked down back-to-back jumpers to set the score at 48-43 with 4:06 to go, but Gauvin held off Elms with three straight buckets to send Rhode Island College to the 56-43 win.
LaRochelle paced the Blazers with a team-high nine points and a team-high eight rebounds. Moulton logged nine points with three rebounds, while Pantry chipped in eight points and seven rebounds. Lynes tallied seven points off the bench in the loss.
The Anchorwomen were powered by 20-point efforts from Gauvin and Livramento. Gauvin netted a game-high 23 points with three rebounds and three assists, while Livramento registered a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds. Rubera added nine points in the win.
The Blazers will battle host Gordon College on the final day of the tournament. Tip-off is slated for 3:00 p.m. Rhode Island College takes on Manhattanville College at 1:00 p.m.