CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's basketball squad topped NECC rival Mitchell College, 81-60, in an intense back-and-forth battle at Picknelly Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Mackenzie Larochelle led four Blazers in double figures with 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Chaniah Pantry (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Alexandra Marques (11 points, 16 rebounds) also recorded double-doubles while Molly Moulton added 15 points. Elms improved to 10-8 overall and 8-3 in the NECC, while the Mariners fell to 5-6 in conference play and 10-8 on the season.
Jessica Shepherd led all scorers with a season-high 22 points to pace the Mariners, who dropped to 5-6 in league play and 10-8 on the season. Shepherd shot 8-for-16 from the floor and also blocked three shots. Ashleigh Beauford and Lehayla Cruz each chipped in seven points.
The Blazers took charge with an initial tally off the hands of Pantry just 18 seconds into the contest. The Mariners answered with a layup of their own as Shepherd connected off the glass. Pantry finished with six points in the quarter while helping Elms to a 20-11 lead after one.
Shepard nailed back-to-back threes to keep the Mariners close at 22-17 early in the second. The Blazers never let the lead slip away, however, and later closed out the half with a 42-32 lead thanks to a shot by Marques in the final seconds of the period.
Threes by Beauford and Shepherd trimmed the deficit to seven just out of the break, but Elms responded by scoring 11 of the next 13 points to extend the lead to 58-42. The Blazers then outscored the Mariners 14-10 in the fourth to wrap up the victory.
Mitchell will next host Bay Path University on Tuesday, January 31 at 5:30 p.m.