South Hadley, Mass. - January 11, 2020 - The Mount Holyoke College basketball team dropped a two-point decision to Medgar Evers in Howard Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, as the Lyons fell to the Cougars 53-51 in non-conference play.
The dynamic play of junior forward Annika Brooks (Portland, Maine) led the way for the Lyons on Saturday, as she posted her 10th double-double performance of the year, finishing with 17 points and 17 rebounds. First-year guard Ellie Hayward (Westmoreland, N.H.) posted 12 points, six rebounds, six steals and one assists, while Kyra Sanborn-Burch (Tariffville, Conn.) came off the bench and notched 10 points to go along with three rebounds.
Medgar Evers opened the game with back-to-back baskets before Brooks scored the first points of the game for the Lyons at the 6:54 mark when she converted a lay-up following a great pass from Olive Oswald (Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.). The Cougars would build a 9-4 lead before Oswald made a pair of free throws to pull the Lyons to within three. In Mount Holyoke College's final possession of the frame Mikayla McEwen (South Hadley, Mass.) drilled a three with eight seconds on the clock but the Lyons were still trailing 11-9 after one.
Brooks and Hayward opened the second quarter with consecutive baskets to even the score at 13 with 6:28 on the clock before the Cougars answered with two quick baskets to push their lead back to four. Trailing 20-14, Mount Holyoke College climbed all the way back to pull even at 20 following a three-pointer from Sanborn-Burch at the 2:03 mark followed by a good jumper from Kelly Lynch (Quincy, Mass.). Medgar Evers would take a three-point advantage into the halftime break as Destiny Simmons (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit a step-back three from the top of the arch with time expiring.
First-year Olivia Aries (Brewster, N.Y.) hit a triple to open the third quarter, which was followed by a basket from Brooks to keep the Lyons within three, before Oswald converted a lay-up with 5:26 on the clock to make it 30-29, Cougars. From there, Medgar Evers was able to regain a six-point lead before adding another basket to take a 41-33 advantage into the fourth and final quarter.
The Lyons came out in the fourth quarter and started to scratch back into the contest, benefitting from their zone defense that forced three turnovers for the Cougars in the first 2:13 of the frame. In that span, the Lyons were able to make it 44-40, before eventually evening pulling to within one on a three pointer from Hayward at the 2:23 mark, making it 48-47, Cougars. From there, the Lyons would even the score at 51 after a technical foul was called on Medgar Evers, allowing for Hayward to tie the game from the free-throw line. A costly turnover late allowed for Simmons to hit two free throws later, leading Medgar Evers to the narrow victory.
The loss brings Mount Holyoke College to 1-13 on the year, while Medgar Evers improves to 2-9 overall. The Lyons held a 50-39 edge in rebounds over 40 minutes of play, and owned the scoring advantage in the paint, 26-24. Mount Holyoke College was 20-for-71 (28.2%) from the field, while Medgar Evers was 22-for-55 (40.0%).
Up next, Mount Holyoke College will travel to Pine Manor on Wednesday, January 15 for a 7 p.m. non-conference contest.