‘We didn’t do anything right’: Lions crushed by Smith 79-34

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Photo: Kayla Buck

First-year guard Bianca Benson playing against Smith College

By Jason Tulchin, Deputy Sports Editor

Emerson women’s basketball lost to Smith College in a landslide 45-point deficit on Wednesday, the biggest scoring gap experienced by the Lions team this season.

The women’s basketball team was coming off of a 76-45 loss to Springfield College on Senior Day. Smith is the number one team in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference and came into the game 19-2 through their season. 

The first quarter opened up with a 5-0 lead for the Pioneers, only broken up by two foul shots from junior guard Chelsea Gibbons. 5-2 was the closest Emerson would come to an even score, as Smith went on a 13 point tear. The first quarter came to a close at 30-10, with Pioneers sophomore guard Jessie Rufner leading the quarter scoring nine points.

Smith began the second quarter quickly, making a layup from a turnover less than a minute in. The quarter would turn into a close-range exchange between the teams, with nearly three-fourths of all points scored in the quarter coming from layups. Emerson would only be outscored by four in the quarter but still faced a massive 24-point gap, heading into the second half 42-18.

The beginning of the third quarter was another fast start for Smith, with senior forward Katelyn Pickunka making a layup 12 seconds in. A layup and a three-pointer from Gibbons and a layup from senior guard Katie Beckmann would push Emerson to 25. The Lions’ defense would prevent the Pioneers from scoring in the final two minutes until senior forward Kyra Rideout pushed a layup and fouled Beckmann, whose trip to the line would be the last points of the quarter as both teams moved into the final 10 minutes with a score of 62-26.

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The fourth quarter would be the nail in the coffin for the Lions as the Pioneers tallied 17 points, benching their starters and fielding their fresh reserves. Emerson also saw some playtime from their first-year reserves, with guard Bianca Benson and forward Mackenzie Bruno each playing for nine minutes. Junior center Chloe Allen led Emerson’s scoring in the quarter with four of Emerson’s eight though this paled next to Smith’s 17. A free throw and three layups from Smith closed the game off, 79-34.

“We didn’t do anything right,” Lions Head Coach Bill Gould said after the game. “We didn’t follow the game plan, we didn’t play hard enough, we weren’t good enough.” 

Gould believed that there was nothing that they could learn from here—it was simply a bad game to move past.

“It was a useless game,” he said. “They’re twentieth in the country [in NCAA Division III play]. So if anything, it shows us where we need to go.”
The Lions will be going to London, Connecticut to play Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, Feb. 19.