SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Elms College basketball team used early defense and strong shooting to post an 86-35 victory over Mount Holyoke College in non-conference action on Tuesday evening at the Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. The Blazers earned their first win of the young season and are now 1-3. The Lyons slip to 0-4 overall.
Four players reached double-figures for the visitors, paced by a game-best 14 points from both sophomore guard Molly Moulton (North Adams, Mass./Drury) and junior forward Niah Pantry (New Haven, Conn./Career). Pantry also added a game-best 11 rebounds. Senior guard and captain Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) added a game-high six assists and five steals, while first year guard Regina LeBlanc (Enfield, Conn./Enfield) also had a game-high five steals to go along with 10 points and eight boards. Sophomore forward Kayla Soto (New Britain, Conn./Classical Magnet) added 12 points.
For the Lyons, sophomore guard Katlyn Grover (Bernardston, Mass./Stonleigh Burnham School) recorded a game-high 14 points with nine rebounds, an assist and a steal. Junior captain and forward Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) had eight points with five boards, while first year Raquel Fitzpatrick (Providence, R.I./Providence Country Day School) recorded six points, five rebounds and two assists.
Elms owned a 46-14 advantage following the first two quarters and kept the pressure up heading into the third frame. A 12-0 run to open things up, powered by consecutive jumpers from Pantry, gave the Blazers a 59-16 advantage with six minutes remaining.
Following a timeout, the Lyons regrouped as Hodges sank a shot with 4:30 left on the clock. Another 5-0 run by Elms was halted by a Fitzpatrick make at the line, but the Blazers would head into the final stanza with a 68-19 advantage.
In the fourth, three straight free throws, including two from Fitzpatrick, cut the deficit to 70-22 for the home team with 7:52 to play. Elms countered with a pair of free throw makes from sophomore guard Samantha Lynes (Berlin, Conn./Berlin), but MHC responded with shots from Grover and first year guard Ireland Clare Kennedy (Oakland, Calif./Holy Names) to make it 78-26.
Grover tacked on another shot from the charity stripe and a jumper down the stretch, but the Elms defense proved too strong over the final minutes of play.
Mount Holyoke returns to action following the Thanksgiving break on Wednesday, opening NEWMAC play at home against WPI at 7pm. Elms is back on the court on Tuesday, welcoming Fitchburg State at 6pm.