BENNINGTON, Vt. — After trailing by nine midway through the second half, Southern Vermont College went on a run to take the lead, one the Mountaineers would not give up while going on to a 65-60 win over Lyndon at the Mountaineer Athletic Center Sunday afternoon in non-conference women's basketball action.
SVC has won its last two games for a 2-2 season record while the Hornets start the year 0-3 with the loss.
In the first meeting between the two programs since the 1998-99 season, Southern Vermont junior captain Amber Flagg notched a game-best 23 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists and six steals. Classmate Sarah McDonald followed with 12 points and eight boards, and fellow junior Marissa Myers came off the bench with a huge eight points for the victors.
Mountaineer junior Kala MacKenzie chipped in with five rebounds and three blocks while classmate Javasha White added six points and six rebounds in the effort.
Four Hornets reached double digits in points with junior Aimee Thompson (Barnet, Vt.t) and senior Britney Geoffrey (Derby Line, Vt.) each registering 16 to lead the team; they added 16 and nine rounds, respectively, with Thompson grabbing 10 boards off the offensive glass. LyndonC senior Emily Gray (Quincy, Mass.) tallied 11 points and four rebounds, and freshman Abby Salvadore (Portsmouth, N.H.) finished with 12 points and six boards.
Neither side was overly efficient from the floor with Southern Vermont hitting 32.8 percent of its field goals (20-61) while Lyndon State connected on 18-of-65 attempts (27.7 percent). The Mountaineers held LSC to just one three-pointer while hitting four of their own, all of those coming in the second half.
The early action saw limited scoring with a pair of Gray free throws making it 6-5 in favor of the visitors 3:23 into the game. The Hornets scored the next eight points over the course of 3:30 for a 14-5 advantage. After that, however, SVC held Lyndon State without a field goal over the next seven minutes while the Mountaineers went on a 13-4 run to close the gap and even tie the game at one point.
A Geoffrey jumper at the 2:14 mark put the Hornets up by eight (26-18), but Southern Vermont made a pair of baskets in the last 1:11 to cut the lead down to 28-23 going into the break.
Thompson led all players after the first half with 10 points, getting eight of her rebounds in the opening period. Flagg had nine points to lead the Mountaineers.
The second half started with Lyndon extending its lead, going up nine on a jumper by Thompson at 15:55 (36-27). Both sides then traded baskets until SVC started to stage its comeback. Myers came in and sparked the Mountaineer faithful with a deep three, and White turned a Lyndon miss into a good jumper to make it 40-36 with 12:21 to go.
The Hornets were able to keep making shots to maintain its limited separation, going up 47-41 after two converted free throws from Geoffrey. SVC would then score the next five as freshman Sarahi Morillo (Yonkers, New York) drilled a three before Flagg calmly sank two from the line to cut the deficit to 47-46.
After Gray made a pair of freebies on the other end, Southern Vermont scored seven unanswered, a run capped by another Myers trey for the Mountaineers to take their first lead since they were ahead 5-4 early on. Lyndon stayed close, but SVC would never surrender the upper hand the rest of the way.
Geoffrey converted on another pair of three throws to make it a one-possession game at 53-51, but Southern Vermont sophomore captain Amber Dow (Panton, Vermont) gave her team some breathing room with a clutch three. Once again, the teams went back-and-forth with made baskets until Flagg was fouled with 23 seconds to go and her team in the bonus. She kept her composure and knocked down both ends of her trip to the line, putting her team ahead 62-57.
Flagg then hit one-of-two free throws after a missed Lyndon field goal, but Gray was able to hit a three-pointer with time winding down, making it 63-60 with seven ticks left. LSC used its last timeout to try and set-up a steal, but the Mountaineers successfully inbounded the ball following the stoppage; Flagg drew the foul that sent her back to the line for the game-clinching pair of free throws.
Lyndon will open the North Atlantic Conference season at Castleton State College, at 5:30 p.m. on December 3.