Offense propels women’s basketball to 2-0

Women’s basketball (2-0) opened its season last weekend with two dominant victories. On Sunday, No. 9 Williams took down Plattsburgh State in Lasell Gym by a score of 72-53, just one day after defeating 25th-ranked Babson 61-42.

In Sunday’s game against Plattsburgh State, which was the first game played in Lasell since 2001 due to the Div. III NCAA volleyball tournament occurring in Chandler Gym, Williams controlled the beginning of the game. Co-captain Kellie Macdonald ’15 scored six unanswered points to put the Ephs up 6-0. The Ephs then traded baskets with the Cardinals until co-captain Ellen Cook ’15 sank a three-pointer that put the Ephs up 14-5. On the women’s next possession, Lauren McCall ’17 drilled a jump shot to cap an 8-0 run by the Ephs with 12:15 remaining in the first half.

Williams followed this with an 11-4 run over the next four minutes, during which the team dominated the boards to create several scoring opportunities. Williams also played strong defense in the first half, at one point keeping Plattsburgh State from scoring for a span of four minutes. Although the Ephs led by 18 with just over two minutes left in the first half, the Cardinals rallied with a 7-0 run that brought the score to 32-21 at halftime.

The Ephs came out strong in the second half, with starters Cook, Macdonald and Jane Thompson ’16 extending the lead to 19 during the first five minutes of the second half, as the Ephs led 45-26. At this point, several bench players stepped up to maintain the lead for Williams. McCall scored 10 points over the next five minutes of the half, placing the Ephs ahead 60-30. With 9:41 remaining in the game, the future of the Ephs’ basketball team was on full display as all four first-years took to the court.

“First-year forward Lauren McCall came off the bench and really stepped it up,” Macdonald said.

Although the Cardinals reduced their margin of defeat during the waning minutes of the game, the Ephs continued to play well as a team, with Mary Kate O’Brien ’16 responding to Cardinal baskets with five points of her own and Thompson sinking a jump shot to reach 10 points during the second half. At the final buzzer, Williams defeated Plattsburgh State by a score of 71-53. McCall led the team with 17 points, while Macdonald recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The women kicked off the season in a fierce battle against Babson on Saturday, in a match relocated to MCLA. Babson got off to a 7-2 lead early in the game, but Williams fought back with well-timed steals and rebounds that led to a 13-0 run. This would be the only time that Williams trailed during the entire weekend, as the women worked hard to maintain a 13-point lead heading into the halftime break.

A 9-0 run to start the second half secured the Ephs’ lead, and the Beavers never got closer than 17 points in the second half, as the Ephs won 61-42. Macdonald led the team in scoring with 19 points, but the other Ephs found ways to contribute. Forward Oge Uwanaka ’16 grabbed eight rebounds during the game while also blocking an impressive five shots, and O’Brien added seven assists.

“I think considering how young our team is we did really well,” co-captain Kellie Macdonald ’15 said. “I thought our team excelled with our running game – we always look to push the pace, and that worked out well for us [last] weekend.”

While the team’s play last weekend has placed the Ephs in a great position to build off last year’s success, the team will be hard at work improving before their next game. “With it being the first weekend, our offensive sets were sloppy at times and our transition defense needs to be better,” Macdonald said.

Results from yesterday’s matchup against Bridgewater State came in too late to report. The women will travel to Vermont next Saturday to face Castleton at 1 p.m. before squaring off against Eastern Conn. State on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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