South Hadley, Mass. - December 10, 2019 - The Mount Holyoke College basketball team fell to Elms College in non-conference play at Howard Gymnasium on Tuesday afternoon, as the Lyons dropped a 70-53 decision in their final game before the holiday break.
Leading the Lyons was junior forward Annika Brooks (Portland, Maine), who posted 17 points and 15 rebounds over 40 minutes of play. First-year point guard Ellie Hayward (Westmoreland, N.H.) was in foul trouble early but still put up nine points, eight rebounds and six assists. Kyra Sanborn-Burch (Tariffville, Conn.) contributed a career-best 13 points, nine of which came in the first quarter, along with four rebounds and one block.
The dynamic play of Sanborn-Burch got the Lyons off to a great start as she produced nine points and three rebounds in the first 5:31 of the contest to give the Lyons a 13-10 lead, before Elms gained a two-point lead with a 5-0 run, making it 15-13, visitors, with 43 seconds on the clock. Brooks made a free throw with 15 left to pull the Lyons to within one but a basket on the Blazers' next possession from Noelle Pechie (Stafford Springs, Conn.) gave Elms a 17-14 lead after one.
Brooks converted a lay-up just 35 seconds into the second quarter to keep Mount Holyoke College within one, but the Blazers would pull away and make it 23-18 following a basket from Lashaunte White (Miami, Fla.) at the 5:54 mark. Hayward got her own offensive board and the followed up with a lay-up to make it 23-20, but the Blazers answered with another 5-0 run to gain and eight-point advantage. Olivia Aries (Brewster, N.Y.) drilled a three-pointer to pull the Lyons back to within five at the 2:35 mark, but Elms would answer with a basket of their own and took a 30-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Elms took a double-digit lead just 55 seconds into the second half, before back-to-back baskets from Brooks and Sanborn-Burch made it 43-27 with 6:01 remaining in the frame. Sanborn-Burch would hit two free-throws midway through the frame, before Hayward cut the Lyons' deficit to three with a triple at the 2:08 mark. Hayward would add another free throw with 43 seconds to play in the third, but Elms would carry a 55-36 lead into the final quarter.
Hayward and Brooks scored back-to-back baskets midway through the frame to help the Lyons keep pace in the fourth quarter, before Brooks converted a three-point play and followed up with another basket to make it 66-50 with 2:16 on the clock. Aries would can another three pointer but the Blazers eventually held on for the 70-53 win.
Mount Holyoke College was 20-for-67 (29.9%) from the field in the setback, while Elms was 29-for-76 (38.2%) over 40 minutes of play. The Lyons also held a 51-49 rebound advantage over the course of the game.
The Lyons will now gear up for its next contest on Thursday, January 2 as Mount Holyoke College heads to York (N.Y.) for a 7 p.m. tilt.