Women’s basketball edged out by Babson College

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Photo: Sydney Ciardi

Sophomore guard Ella Bushee dribbling past opponents against Babson College

By Jason Tulchin, Deputy Sports Editor

The Emerson women’s basketball team fell short to Babson College in a hard-fought four quarters that ultimately ended 69-32 at home this Wednesday.

The Lions, now 7-11—and 3-2 in conference play—had their four-game win streak broken by Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Sunday. They had a tough opponent in the Beavers, who were 13-5 (4-0 in conference) coming off a close win against Springfield College on Sunday and a resounding defeat to Mount Holyoke College on Wednesday.

The first quarter began 3-2 Babson, with a two-point jumper from sophomore guard Ella Bushee putting the Lions on the board. These would be the only points from Emerson for the next six minutes as Babson went on a 16-point tear only broken by two successful foul shots from sophomore guard Olivia Deslauriers with 2:36 left in the quarter. Seven more points from Emerson, including a three-pointer from junior guard Chelsea Gibbons, would bring the score up to 28-11 by the end of the quarter.

The second quarter saw the Beavers go on another streak, only broken by a two-pointer from first-year forward Mackenzie Bruno. With 2:23 left in the quarter, the score sat at 18-45, a trip to the line from Deslauriers bringing the game to 20-46. A positive 3-2 trade for Emerson in a fierce battle for layups in the final minute of the second quarter would leave the score 23-48.

The third quarter saw only three points tallied by the Lions on account of a free throw and a trey from Bushee. The Beavers scored 13 points over the course of the quarter. Babson sophomore forward Madison Odam tallied 4 points to narrowly lead ahead of Bushee in points scored for the quarter, which ended 59-23.

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The Lions and Beavers’ defenses were evenly matched for the first 1:43 of the final quarter, with the first bucket coming from Babson first-year guard/forward Meghan Goode. Two minutes later, Emerson had their scoring drought rejuvenated by sophomore guard Ava Salti with a three. The Lions went down swinging, scoring eight of the next twelve points. Bruno drained a jumper for Emerson’s final points of the game. Sophomore guard Sydnie Herbert stole the ball from Babson in the final 36 seconds, though after a missed three, the Beavers would regain the ball and hold it until the clock ran out.

Deslauriers and Bushee were tied at seven points for Emerson’s scoring leaders, while junior guard Chloe Allen led Emerson in rebounds. 

Head Coach Bill Gould said he was surprised by the lopsided outcome of the game.

“I knew Babson was good, but Holy Christ, they just made every single shot,” he said after the game. “It wasn’t that we were bad on defense, but they were on fire to start the game. That really threw us through a loop.”

Despite the loss, Gould said he was proud of the work of team captains Katie Beckmann and Gibbons, praising Beckmann for keeping the defense on track and Gibbons for handling the offensive end of the game.

“Everybody contributed a bit,” he added. 

Eight out of 11 Lions contributed points. There were two reserve players who were able to shine during the game: Bruno, who came off the bench to score 6 points, and Allen, who led Emerson in rebounds, with 6. Gould emphasized that the Lions had been competitive all the way through.

For Herbert, the team’s ability to compete successfully was also what made that night.

“We have goals every game, and the goals have been the same,” she said. “Be calm, be aggressive, and just play our game.”

Like Gould, Herbert had praise for the performances of Beckmann and Gibbons, as well as junior forward Carla Pelino.

Gould said that the Lions would have to work on their offense and getting points on the board. However, he added that the team showed that they could continue to compete under pressure.

“What we took from this game was the fact that we just competed,” he said. “We withstood this onslaught in the first quarter—I mean, [our players] were just unbelievable.”

“In practice, we have to push each other, and in games against great teams like Mount Babson [sic], we have to know that we can play our game,” he added.

In lieu of the game being played on National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Gould reflected on the importance of the girl’s team as female athletes in basketball.

“The team was playing pickup at an outside court, and there were two little girls walking with their mother through the park, and they stayed to watch,” Gould said. “They were probably six, seven, eight years old. And I told the team later … do you realize how important that is? For those little kids to see girls out on the court, playing competitively … that’s why women in sports are important.”

“I’m glad that girls and women are finally getting that recognition and that amount of support and love.” Herbert said. “We’re slowly but surely getting equal to men’s sports, so it felt good playing today and being a part of that history.”

The women’s basketball team will have their next game against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday.