SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Powered by a double-digit effort from senior captain and forward Xajaah Williams-Flores and junior guard Genesis DiCarlo, the Mount Holyoke College basketball team posted a 47-38 victory over Green Mountain College in non-conference action on Thursday. With the victory, the Lyons move to 1-1 on the season, while the Eagles are now 0-1 overall.
The victory for the Lyons marks the first since January 28, 2015, when MHC posted a 54-52 win at Smith College. Leading the way in Thursday's winning effort was Williams-Flores (The Bronx, N.Y./Holderness School), who had 15 points and a game-best nine rebounds. She also posted a game-best three assists and three steals.
DiCarlo (Sullivan, Maine/Sumner Memorial) added 12 points with a game-best five steals. She also had six rebounds with two assists. Sophomore guard/forward Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) added eight points, including a 4-for-4 effort at the line.
For the Eagles, sophomore guard Mercedes Rideout (Nashville, Tenn./North Hagerstown) posted a team-high 10 points with three assists and two steals. Senior forward Casie Sharp (Newbury, Mass./Saint Thomas Aquinas) added six points with five boards, while junior forward Tyah Culp (Eatonton, Ga./Putnam County) had a team-best eight rebounds with five points. First year guard Taylor Hill (Roncervete, W. Va./Greenbriar East) added four steals with six boards.
It was a very tight opening half of action as neither team led by more than four. In the second quarter, the visiting Eagles jumped out to a 17-13 lead on a layup from first year center Laney Trammell (North Fort Myers, Fla./North Fort Meyers), but the Lyons rebounded as layups from Williams-Flores and first year guard Kathryn Violette (Yokosuka City, Japan/Yokohama International School) tied it at 17-all with 6:23 to go.
The teams continued to trade buckets in the waning minutes, but it would be Mount Holyoke to pull ahead as a pair of free throws from sophomore Zahkeyah Allen (Philadelphia, Pa./Freire Charter School) made it a 24-21 game. A free throw make from Green Mountain's Rachel Moore (Sharon, Vt./South Royalton) sent it into halftime with MHC up 24-21.
In the third quarter, the Lyons found their momentum, opening up a nine-point (34-25) lead following a Williams-Flores layup with 3:39 to go in the frame. Hill connected on a pair of free throws to cut the deficit for the visitors to 34-27 at the end of the stanza, but Mount Holyoke pushed its lead to 12-points (39-27) early in the fourth on a three-pointer from senior Julia McConnell (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal).
Green Mountain bounced back as Rideout sank a three-pointer with just three seconds left on the shot clock, followed by a Culp jumper to make it 39-32 with 6:37 to go. A jumper from Sharp, paired with a layup from Moore made it a three-point game (41-38) with 2:22 to play, but the Lyons answered with four free throw makes down the stretch, capped by a DiCarlo layup, sealed the 47-38 victory.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Saturday when it takes part in the ACPHS Tip-Off Tournament, hosted by the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science. The Lyons will face the host Panthers at 3pm, concluding the weekend on Sunday in either the consolation (12pm) or championship (2pm) game. Green Mountain is back on the court on November 30 when it hosts Colby-Sawyer at 7:30pm.