Historic defensive effort extends women’s basketball win streak


Quinn Madden (right) dished out six assists and recorded three steals, helping the Lions reach 18 steals for the second time this season. Ethan McDowell / Beacon Staff.

By Ethan McDowell

The women’s basketball team defeated Johnson & Wales University on Saturday by a score of 77-31 in one of the most dominant defensive performances in the college’s history. 

This is the second time the Lions have held an opponent to 31 points or less since joining the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference in 2013. They defeated Mount Holyoke College 87-31 in 2018.  

Seven different players scored for the Lions in the first quarter while forcing 13 turnovers and holding the Wildcats to four points. Starting guards senior Natalie Clydesdale, senior Quinn Madden, and junior Ashley Toner combined for six steals and five assists in the first 10 minutes. Johnson & Wales came into the game with a 7-2 record. Head coach Bill Gould said he is proud of the Lions’ effort. 

“That’s a good basketball team, and we really did a nice job shutting them down,” Gould said in a post-game interview. 

High-scoring quarters from junior forward Sam Boyle and junior guard Rachel Davey helped the Lions extend their lead in the second quarter. The two combined for 15 points, including three three-point jumpshots. Davey credited the team’s positive mentality with the result on the court. 

“I was just feeling really loose today,” Davey said in a post-game interview. “We were all in a pretty good mood. It is our last game before the break, so we wanted to make it a good one to go out on a good note.”

The Lions led 43-12 at halftime, but Davey said the team did not relax in the second half. 

“We just wanted to come out really strong,” Davey said. “We emphasized coming out in the first five minutes and really just stepping on them and not letting them get a breath.”

Davey scored six more points in the third quarter, and the Lions increased their lead to 41. The Lions held the Wildcats to nine points in the fourth quarter, sealing their 46-point victory. 

Davey scored 20 points while Boyle added 12 points of her own. Madden and Clydesdale each recorded six assists. Gould praised the team’s offensive performance. 

“We just had really good ball movement,” Gould said. “We didn’t try to rely on any one thing, we didn’t rely on one individual, and we didn’t rely on one type of shot. We just spread everything out literally and figuratively, and it was really good.”

The Lions forced 34 turnovers, and the Wildcats only shot 23 percent. After a 3-4 start to the year, the Lions have now won three straight games. 

“We have been kind of up and down in this first semester,” Davey said. “We’re just really focusing on when we get a win, keeping that energy the same.”

The Lions play their next game on Sunday, Dec. 29 against Lancaster Bible College in Puerto Rico at 11 a.m.