Basketball Falls in NEWMAC Action to Smith

GraceAnne Woods

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - A pair of double-figure efforts, along with points across the board, helped the Smith College basketball team to victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening. In the 82-17 victory, the Pioneers saw their record improve to 11-5 and 5-3 in conference play. The homestanding Lyons are now 1-16 and 0-8 in the NEWMAC.

Leading Smith were first years Dashelle Gleissner (Los Angeles, Calif./Serra) and forward Katelyn Pickunka (Westhampton, Mass./Hampshire), who each posted a game-high 12 points. Gleissner added five rebounds and a game-best four assists and four steals. Pickunka came off the bench to add five boards as well. Sophomore guard Karena Garcia (Tucson, Ariz./Flowing Wells) added nine points off the bench to go along with three assists and a steal, while senior forward Emma Seymour (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) had seven points and five caroms.

For Mount Holyoke, sophomore Annika Brooks (Portland, Maine/Waynflete) had 11 points to go along with a game-high seven rebounds. She also added an assist, three steals and a block. Senior forward Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) chipped in with six points, five boards, a steal and a block.

Smith dominated in the paint and played strong defense to own a 25-point advantage following the opening quarter behind Gleissner's eight points and three steals. In the second quarter, the Pioneers kept the Lyons off the scoreboard and four players notched points to give the visitors a commanding lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter saw the Lyons begin to claw back as five points from Brooks helped narrow the gap. In the final 10 minutes of the contest, both Brooks and Hodges drained four points each, but two or more points from seven of the eight players off the bench helped solidify the win.

Mount Holyoke is now idle until Tuesday, January 22 when it hosts Springfield College at 7pm. Smith is back in action on Saturday, welcoming Emerson to Northampton for a 2pm contest.