SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior guard Katie Stopera scored a game-high 21 points, including the 1,000th point of her career, as Lasell College posted a 64-33 win over Mount Holyoke College in non-conference action on Saturday at the Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. With the victory, the Lasers improve to 7-4 while the Lyons slip to 0-10.
Stopera (Hollis, N.H./Hollis-Brookline) eclipsed the 1,000 point mark at 4:26 of the opening quarter as her shot from beyond the arc made it an 11-4 advantage for the visitors. First year guard Becca Fenton (East Hartford, Conn./East Hartford) added a three less than a minute later and a layup by Stopera with 2:14 remaining made it a 17-6 lead for Lasell.
In the second quarter, the Lasers continued to press, jumping out to a 21-point lead (27-6) on a layup from sophomore guard Morgan Church (New London, N.H./Proctor Academy). MHC saw first year guard Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) sink a layup with 3:49 to go in the frame, but a pair of free throw makes from sophomore forward Madison Cota (Bellows Falls, Vt./Vermont Academy) over the final 20 seconds saw Lasell take a 30-18 margin into halftime.
Stopera notched six straight points in the third quarter to pull the Lasers out to a 40-16 lead with 4:06 to go. The Lyons answered as junior Xajaah Williams-Flores (The Bronx, N.Y./Holderness School) made a layup, but Stopera answered with another three in the final 21 seconds of the frame to make it a 48-22 lead for the visitors heading into the final quarter.
The Lasers continued to gain momentum in the fourth stanza as a three from senior guard Rebeka Costa (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) pushed the advantage to 55-24, but the Lyons began to battle back. A pair of free throw makes by senior forward Siyao Sui (ShenZhen, China/St. Mary's School (N.C.) cut the deficit with 6:46 to go. Sui would later sink a layup and an ensuing free throw in the final 2:20, and Hodges added a layup with 1:38 to go, but the Lyons would not be able to make up the difference as Lasell played solid defense to close out the game.
In addition to her game-high 21 points, Stopera added 10 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. She also shot 3-of-7 from three point range. Church and first year forward Jaime Caron (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) each added eight points, including a game-best five assists for Caron, while senior guard Deanna Barrett (Berlin, Conn./Berlin) and Costa each had seven points.
For the Lyons, Sui recorded a team-best 11 points to go along with a game-best 12 rebounds. She also had a steal. Williams-Flores chipped in with 10 points, six boards and a game-high two steals, while Hodges also had 10 points with two caroms and two assists.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on January 2nd when it hosts Plymouth State at 2pm. Lasell is back on the court on January 5th welcoming Bates at 7pm.