South Hadley, Mass. - December 7, 2019 - Despite impressive individual performances from first-year guard Ellie Hayward (Westmoreland, N.H.) and junior forward Annika Brooks (Portland, Maine), the Mount Holyoke College basketball team fell to the University of Saint Joseph, 56-44, on Saturday afternoon at Howard Gymnasium.
Hayward followed up a 20-point performance on Thursday night with 23 points versus the Blue Jays, as the first year also pulled down nine rebounds and picked up three steals and two assists. Brooks posted 14 points to go along with 17 rebounds and four assists in the setback. The Lyons were 15-of-52 (28.8%) from the field.
Hayward opened up the scoring with a basket on the Lyons first possession of the game, but the Blue Jays answered with nine consecutive points before Mikayla McEwen (South Hadley, Mass.) converted a three-pointer at the 3:57 mark to make it 9-5, Saint Joseph. Another jumper from Hayward pulled the Lyons to within a pair, but back-to-back baskets from Saint Joseph's Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) gave the visitors a 15-9 lead after one quarter of play.
Hayward made it a four-point game with a basket to open the second quarter, before back-to-back converted lay-ups from Brooks evened the score at 15 apiece with 5:32 to play in the stanza. With 2:45 on the clock, Hayward drilled another three-pointer to make it 21-21, but the Blue Jays would respond with five-straight points to take a 26-21 lead with 1:27 remaining. With less than a minute to play, Brooks converted a lay-up to force a 26-23 margin that would remain until the halftime break.
Brooks scored the first points of the third quarter as she converted a free-throw at the 9:15 mark before Hayward hit two from the charity stripe to keep the deficit at four midway through the frame. With less than a minute to go in the period and with the Lyons facing an eight-point deficit, Hayward nailed a jumper and followed it up with a three-pointer to make it 40-37, but Saint Joseph would score the last basket of the frame to take a five-point lead into the final quarter.
Saint Joseph opened up a 14-point lead with 2:06 to go before Brooks and Hayward each picked up two more points apiece, but the Blue Jays would escape with the 56-44 victory.
The Lyons held a 47-41 advantage on the glass over 40 minutes of play, and also assisted on 11 of their 15 field goals made. The Blue Jays dominated the paint in the victory, owning a 44-14 scoring advantage.
Up next, Mount Holyoke College will play their final game before the holiday break and will host Elms on Tuesday, January 10 at 6 p.m. in Howard Gymnasium.