SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior forward Amber Legare hit the game-winning shot with one second remaining to lift the Mount Holyoke College basketball team past Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), 50-49, in non-conference action on Tuesday evening. With the win, the Lyons move to 2-7 overall, while the Trailblazers move to 4-4.
In addition to her buzzer beating shot, Legare (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) also netted her 1,000th career point in the victory. Needing just 11 points entering Tuesday's game, she became just the 12th player in program history to reach 1,000 points as she sank a layup at the 13:31 mark of the second half.
Holding a 46-45 advantage with 3:10 remaining, Mount Holyoke saw its lead slip away as sophomore forward Kayla Hotaling (Ravena, N.Y./Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk) hit a jumper to turn the favor back to the visitors. A jumper from sophomore guard Brayleigh Hanlon (Wynantskill, N.Y./Troy) made it a 49-46 lead for MCLA with 2:08 to go, but the Lyons responded as senior guard Kate Karraker (Morgantown, W.V./Taft School) dropped in a shot with just 53 seconds to play.
With just three seconds left, a Trailblazers foul sent Legare to the line, despite narrowly missing both, the Lyons were able to get the rebound as senior forward Nicole DeMarchena (Miami, Fla./Amherst Regional) grabbed possession. On the in-bound, junior guard Genelle Green (Windsor, Conn./Miss Porter's School) fired the ball in to Legare, who turned for the off-balance jumper and game-winner.
The game opened with MCLA jumping out to the early advantage. Holding a four-point (15-11) edge on a layup from first year forward Emily Castle (Catskill, N.Y./Columbia-Greene CC), the Trailblazers saw their lead cut as a three from Karraker and a jumper from Green turned the advantage (16-15) back to the home team with 6:02 to play.
MCLA held a 23-18 lead with just 1:26 to play in the first half, but a long trey from Karraker with 51 seconds remaining locked the game at 23-all heading into halftime.
In addition to Legare, who recorded a game and seasons-best 20 points with 11 rebounds, an assist and three steals, the Lyons also saw Karraker chip in with 13 points and a game-high four assists. DeMarchena came off the bench to post 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
For MCLA, Hotaling posted 16 points and a game-best 15 rebounds with three assists and two blocks. Hanlon added 11 points, while Castle chipped in with four points and six boards with two blocks.
The Lyons are now idle for the rest of 2014, but return to action on January 3 when they travel to Wheaton for a 1pm NEWMAC contest. MCLA is back in action on Saturday when it travels to Union (N.Y.) for a 1pm game against the Dutchwomen.
Photo of Legare and teammates courtesy of Mariesa Mazzone '17.