SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Nov. 20, 2011) – Led by junior guard Angelica Pascual, the Mount Holyoke College basketball team rolled to a 66-53 triumph over Western New England University in the consolation game of the Golden Bears Hoops Classic this afternoon. Pascual was nearly unstoppable of the Lyons, who picked up their first win of the season. In addition to pouring in a game-high 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, she also chipped in with five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
As a team, Mount Holyoke converted 50.0% (27-54) of its shots from the field and 90.0% (9-10) of its free throw attempts. Pascual was joined in double digits by senior guard Christine Chancy (15 points), sophomore guard Annabel Barrett (13 points) and first year forward Nicole DeMarchena (10 points). DeMarchena also pulled down a game-best seven rebounds for the Lyons, who enjoyed a 31-25 advantage on the glass.
Junior center Elena Radzikowski paced Western New England with 17 points and four boards. The Golden Bears also received solid production from senior forward Sarah Proper, who added 13 points. The hosts knocked down 43.8% (21-48) of their shots from the floor and 76.0% (10-13) of their free throws but were forced into 25 turnovers.
Neither side led by more than five points in a first half that saw three ties and eight lead changes. A layup by Chancy put Mount Holyoke in front 22-17 midway through the opening period. Western New England answered with five straight points and eventually gained a 26-25 edge after a pair of free throws by Radzikowski at the 3:55 mark.
From there, it was all Lyons. The guests closed out the half on a 6-0 run behind consecutive baskets by Pascual, DeMarchena and Chancy. They followed that up with seven more unanswered points out of the locker room to extend their cushion to 38-26. First year forward Amber Legare capped off the rally with a layup at the 14:28 mark.
Western New England (0-2, 0-0 CCC) trimmed the deficit to 41-36 with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation, but Mount Holyoke answered with back-to-back jumpers by Chancy and Pascual to put things out of reach. The Lyons led by as many as 14 points on two occasions down the stretch. Pascual netted 13 of her 20 points after the break.
Barrett was named to the All-Tournament Team after racking up 31 points over the course of the weekend. The point guard played all but six minutes in Mount Holyoke's two games.
The Lyons (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) will kick off their home slate with a contest against top-ranked Amherst College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.