SOUTH HADLEY, MASS. – Despite a tough battle in front of an energetic crowd, the Mount Holyoke College basketball team fell 69-55 to the University of Saint Joseph on Tuesday. With the win, the Bluejays improve to 6-3 on the season, while the Lyons close out 2017 with an 0-9 mark.
For USJ, senior forward Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn./Newington) led the way with a season-high 27 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. In addition to Guest's double-double, classmate guard Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn./Middletown) scored 15 points and almost reached double-digit rebounds with nine. Mayo also recorded three assists, two steals, and a block.
Leading the Lyons was junior guard Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) who scored a season-high 15 points off the bench to go along with seven rebounds and two assists. Senior forward Kate Rawson (Old Town, Maine/Old Town) had her best game of the season with 14 points and dominated the glass with a game-high 15 rebounds. First year Raquel Fitzpatrick (Providence, R.I./Providence Country Day School) also had a strong game with a 14 point, 11 rebound double-double. She also added a game-high seven assists.
In the first quarter, the Bluejays started out on fire with a 10-0 run powered by six points from Mayo, before Fitzpatrick took the lid off the Lyons basket with a mid-range jumper. Mayo sunk another layup with 4:40 to go in the quarter before Rawson countered with a bucket to ignite an 11-0 run for MHC. The Lyons played tough zone-defense to hold USJ scoreless for the remainder of the period, but went into the second trailing, 14-9.
The Bluejays went on another run to start the second period, extending the lead to 24-11. Rawson stopped the run once again, helping the Lyons to a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to 27-23. Despite the momentum for the Lyons, USJ scored four straight buckets to go back up by 11 (35-24). With just under a minute to go, Grover hit a jumper to cut the lead to single-digits, sending the Lyons into halftime down, 35-26.
USJ began to take full control of the game in the second half, ending the third quarter up by 15 (50-35). The Lyons bounced back in the final stanza, outscoring the Bluejays 20-19, but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit. USJ milked the clock to secure a hard-fought 69-55 victory.
Both teams are idle for the rest of the year, returning to action in early January. Mount Holyoke will return to the hardwood on January 3rd for NEWMAC action on the road against Coast Guard Academy at 7:00pm, while the Bluejays are in action on January 2nd, hosting Nichols at 6:00pm.