2018-19 Basketball Year In Review

Photo of the Lyons basketball team during introductions in 2018-19.

The 2018-19 season ushered in a new era for the Lyons basketball program as Jackie Ward took over as head coach. Mount Holyoke posted an overall record of 1-24 and 0-16 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). The season saw solid improvement, including a 45-game losing snap for the Lyons.

Despite a rough start to the season, the Lyons came out strong in their first two contests, shouldering losses by just nine points to both Bay Path and Southern Vermont. Sophomore forward Annika Brooks made an immediate impact, recording 25 points and 26 rebounds in the two contests, kicking off her first year with the program in fine fashion.

Three games into the season, the Lyons shouldered a tough loss to the University of St. Joseph and Fitchburg State at the USJ Tip-Off Tournament, but sophomore guard Ireland Clare Kennedy notched 13 points in the opener while Brooks poured in 17 points and 18 boards against the Eagles. 

It was a struggle in December as the Lyons shouldered four straight losses, including three in conference play. Mount Holyoke returned to the court in January and despite a 22-point, nine board effort from Brooks, the Lyons could not win their 2019 opener at Elms.

Five games into the second half of the season saw Mount Holyoke finally break the winless snap. Squaring off against Green Mountain on January 14, the Lyons battled from behind in the opening quarter and fought each frame to grab the 60-52 victory. Brooks led all players in the contest with an incredible game, scoring 23 points with 18 rebounds, five assists and five steals. That effort earned her Lyon of the Week recognition.

Mount Holyoke rounded out January with contests against many of the conference's tough teams and despite a number of outstanding individual efforts, were unable to grab the 'W' in their final five games of the season.

For the season, Brooks led the team in scoring with 11.9 points per game over 22 contests. She completed the double-double on the season with a 10.0 boards per contest mark. Senior guard/forward Leah Hodges was next with a 7.5 points per game average, while junior guard Katlyn Grover averaged 7.4 points on the season.

Both Grover and sophomore Yuanguo Lang were named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team, while Brooks was chosen for the conference's All-Sportsmanship team.