ALBANY, N.Y. - A huge fourth quarter effort lifted the Mount Holyoke College basketball team past the host Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in the opening game of the ACPHS Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday. MHC improves to 2-1 on the year, while the Panthers slip to 1-2.
First year guard Kathryn Violette (Yokosuka City, Japan/Yokohama International School) had a breakout game, scoring 20 points and adding four assists. Senior captain and forward Xajaah Williams-Flores (The Bronx, N.Y./Holderness School) also had a strong game with 15 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. Senior forward Julia McConnell (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) was the third Lyon to score in double-figures with 11 points, including a 4-for-6 effort from three-point range, with three assists and two steals.
As a team, MHC shot 40.7% from the field, including an astounding 7-13 from beyond the arc for 53.8%. The Lyons capitalized on the Panthers mistakes, scoring 28 points off of turnovers. The bench outscored the Panthers, 19-2.
Albany also had three players score in double-figures, led by junior Dannie Griffen (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), who had 17 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Sophomore Katie Walker (Canton, Conn./Canton) posted 16 points to go along with five boards and three steals. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was first year Emma Webster (Cadyville, N.Y./Saranac High) who notched 12 points and three assists.
The Panthers shot 51% from the field and out-rebounded the Lyons, 38-25. Albany had a strong showing down low, scoring 36 points in the paint.
After leading by two points in the first quarter, the Panthers came out strong outscoring the Lyons 19-13 in the second. Albany scored the first 14 points of the quarter powered by seven points from Walker for a 24-9 lead. Mount Holyoke posted 12 points in the last four minutes of the quarter to bring the score to 29-21 heading into the half.
After the Panthers owned an 18-11 advantage following the third quarter, the Lyons headed into the fourth down by 15 (47-32). Williams-Flores connected on a layup in the midst of a 14-0 run to cut the lead to single-digits with 7:34 to go in the game. MHC took the lead with 5:07 to go after back-to-back treys from McConnell, followed by Violette's second three pointer of the day.
Mount Holyoke extended its advantage to five (55-50) after junior guard Genesis DiCarlo (Sullivan, Maine/Summer Memorial) connected from downtown. Webster knocked down two free throws to bring Albany within two (58-60) with :23 to go in the game, but DiCarlo sunk four free throws of her own in the last :09 to cement the second win in a row for MHC.
Mount Holyoke will advance to the championship game on Sunday where they will tip off at 2:00pm against the winner of the second match-up between Alfred State and Villa Maria. The Panthers will play tomorrow at 12:00pm in the consolation game.