BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Southern Vermont College women's basketball team started its New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) schedule Tuesday night, shooting a season-best 51.4 percent from the field to come away with a 97-75 win over Bay Path University at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
The Mountaineers went 3-1 in their four-game home stand, moving to 3-3 on the season (1-0 NECC) with the win over the Wildcats. BPU falls to 0-5 on the year and 0-1 in league play.
Southern Vermont junior captain Amber Flagg (Windsor, Connecticut) scored a team-high 26 points while going 9-10 at the free throw line; she added nine rebounds and seven assists to nearly miss the triple-double, also team-bests. Freshman Danielle Simmons(Rensselaer, New York) was explosive off the SVC bench, scoring 24 points on the night with 17 coming in the first half; she shot 11-16 from the floor and grabbed eight boards in the victory.
Mountaineer junior Sarah McDonald (Cohoes, New York) scored 12 points and had five rebounds while sophomore captain Amber Dow (Panton, Vermont) notched 11 points, five assists and four boards. Junior Marissa Myers (Chatham, New York) also reached double digits, connecting on 3-5 three-point attempts to go with a free throw for 10 points.
Bay Path sophomore Briana Kujawski (Webster, Massachusetts) had an amazing final 20 minutes of play, scoring 29 points after not having a single one in the first half for the game-high; she added 10 rebounds for the night's only double-double. Junior Dallas Jackson (Springfield, Massachusetts) followed with 17 points and five rebounds to go with a game-high six steals, and freshman Kaylee Herring(Worcester, Vermont) pitched in with 11 points in the effort.
SVC shot over 50 percent from the floor in each half to finish with a 36-70 clip while holding Bay Path to a 39.1 percentage (27-69). The Mountaineers held a slight 46-39 advantage on the boards while each team scored 19 points off the other's turnovers.
The Wildcats kept pace with SVC in the early going, trailing just 18-13 at the 11:11 mark of the first half. That's when Simmons started to turn on her jumper, however, as she drained shot-after-shot from 15 feet away. She scored 11 of 13 Southern Vermont points during a stretch that saw the hosts jump ahead 31-17 with 6:40 to go in the period. The two teams traded scores through the remainder of the half, sending them to the locker rooms with SVC ahead 50-33.
Southern Vermont wasted no time in continuing the scoring as Dow made a layup right away to begin the second. Kujawski scored the first three baskets for the Wildcats in the start of the half in an attempt to get her team back in contention. BPU was hard-pressed to stage a comeback, however, as Myers came off the bench and nailed two treys to maintain the large lead. Those two scores preceded a Flagg layup, and the Mountaineers then drained their next four scores from beyond the perimeter to go up 77-53.
At that point, with 10:37 on the clock, a power outage caused the game to come to a halt with both teams wondering how the contest would be resolved, were the lights to stay off for a prolonged time. Those intrigues remained just those, however, as the electricity was returned to the MAC after about 20 minutes, and play resumed.
The stoppage didn't slow down the SVC heat from three-point range as the Mountaineers came out and continued their downtown streak; Dow dropped a three, and Flagg followed with a layup after a Bay Path miss to put her team ahead 82-55. In that same time, Kujawski scored 10 straight points for the Wildcats; the tandem of her being fed by sophomore Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Massachusetts) was nearly unstoppable as the duo connected for five baskets through the middle of the second. Gordon finished the night tying Flagg's game-high of seven assists.
Still, Bay Path couldn't prevent the Mountaineers from continuing to hit shots down the stretch, going up by as many as 29 late in the game. Kujawski made her final basket as time expired for the 97-75 final.
SVC went 7-12 from three-point range in the second half, totaling a 9-21 clip (42.9 percent) for the night.
The Mountaineers continue league play Thursday when they travel to Becker College for a 6 p.m. tip-off, and Bay Path hosts Mitchell College on Thursday for an 8 p.m. conference tilt.