Women’s basketball takes down Mount Holyoke

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Photo: Sydney Ciardi

Emerson Lions Quinn O’Connor passing the ball to her teammates.

By Jason Tulchin, Deputy Sports Editor

Emerson’s women’s basketball team handily won their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference game of the season, rounding out a 69-44 win over Mount Holyoke College at home this Saturday.

As the Lions refocused their attention to the NEWMAC conference, their first opponent was the Mount Holyoke Lyons, who were 2-4 heading into the game. 

The first half was a tug of war between the Lions and the Lyons, with eight lead changes. First-year guard Marley Berano pulled Mount Holyoke ahead to 18-17 with a mid-range jumper, with just six minutes remaining in the first half;  sophomore guard Ella Bushee gave the lead back to Emerson a minute later. With 2:23 left in the half, Mount Holyoke tied the game 23-23 before the Lions pulled ahead with an 8-point streak before the buzzer. Emerson left the court for halftime with a 31-23 lead. 

In the second half, the Lions furthered the gap with an 18-point tear. First-year guards Ava Salti and Olivia Deslauriers both sank three pointers in the first two minutes of the half. Layups by Beckmann and Pelino brought Emerson’s lead to 41-23 with 7:54 left in the quarter. Even with a three pointer from Mount Holyoke guard Isabel Cordes, the third quarter ended 49-32 Emerson.

With a comfortable lead, Emerson ran an ambitious fourth quarter, with over half the shots behind the three-point line. Coupled with layups from Deslauriers and first-year center Chloe Allen, the team reached a 21-point lead, 53-32. Bushee made 3 layups while sophomore guard Chelsea Gibbons sank 2 threes to pull Emerson ahead, ending the game 66-49 Lions.

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The Lions were 4-9 in non-conference play last semester, with their last game a 71-36 loss against Rhode Island College as their first game of the New Year. The Providence crowd saw junior forward Carla Pelino lead the Lions in scoring with 10 points. Senior forward Katie Beckmann led the team with three assists. Unfortunately, the RIC Anchorwomen had the path to victory paved by first-year forward Angelina Nardolillo with 24 points, as well as junior forward Neleesha Meunier double-double performance with 10 points and 10 rebounds. 

Emerson might not have had a winning record outside of conference games, but to head coach Bill Gould it wasn’t about winning every game.

“I don’t care about what the record is now, because our conference [games are all scheduled for] second semester,” Gould said following a loss to Brandeis University. “I told the team already, if we go 15-0 in non-conference and then go 0-10 in conference, then you stunk. If it’s the opposite, if we go 0-15 and then go 10-0, we had a great year.”

Bushee led the Lions in scoring with 16 points, while also tying with Gibbons for most rebounds (6), while Deslausiers and first-year forward Mackenzie Bruno tied for the most assists (5). The women’s basketball team is set to play their next game against Wheaton College—another NEWMAC opponent—on Wednesday.

Tyler Foy contributed to reporting