South Hadley, Mass. - November 20, 2019 - Despite a strong fourth quarter, the Mount Holyoke College basketball team dropped a 59-42 decision to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Trailblazers at Howard Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
Leading the Lyons was an impressive effort from Annika Brooks (Portland, Maine), who finished with a team-best 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Katlyn Grover (Bernardston, Mass.) recorded 13 points, nine of which came in the final stanza. First-year guard Ellie Hayward (Westmoreland, Mass.) also had a solid performance, totaling nine points, four steals, four rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes of play for the Lyons.
MCLA jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage following a lay-up from Hannah Mazzeo (Averill Park, N.Y.) before Hayley Jones (Catskill, N.Y.) drilled a three to give the Trailblazers an early cushion. After Kyra Sanborn-Burch (Tariffville, Conn.) got the Lyons on the board with a pair of free throws, Hayward buried a three-pointer of her own to pull the Lyons to within four, trailing 9-5 with 6:26 to play in the first quarter. Brooks would score the final two baskets for the hosts but MCLA held a 19-9 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Hayward opened the second quarter with a basket to pull Mount Holyoke College to within eight before Sanborn-Burch canned two more free-throws to keep the Lyons in reach of the Trailblazers. Hayward would convert two more free-throws with 4:03 to play in the first half but the Lyons would go into the halftime break trailing MCLA, 27-15.
Brooks dropped in a lay-up just 1:11 into the third quarter to bring the Lyons to within seven, and the junior along with Grover would hit jumpers to keep the deficit at 10 before the Trailblazers went on a 9-0 run that gave them a 42-24 advantage with 50 seconds to play in the third quarter. Grover stopped the run with a pair of free throws before Brooks made a free throw of her own to make it 45-27 heading into the final quarter.
Grover drilled a three just 47 seconds into the fourth quarter before Hayward followed with a lay-up to cut the Lyons' deficit to 15 with 8:48 on the clock. From there, Hayward would dish a pass to Grover, who canned another three, before the senior connected again from deep to make it 57-39, MCLA, with 3:07 to play. Brooks would make the final basket for Mount Holyoke College with 1:28 remaining but the Trailblazers were able to hold on for victory.
With the loss, the Lyons are now 1-4 to start the year, while MCLA improves to 2-2 overall. Mount Holyoke College was just 12-of-46 (26.1%) from the field in the setback while the Trailblazers shot 27-for-75 (36.0%) in the victory. MCLA also held a 47-39 advantage on the glass over 40 minutes of play.
Up next, Mount Holyoke College will return to Howard Gymnasium on Tuesday, November 26 at 5:30 p.m.