BENNINGTON >> The first half of Wednesday's game against Elms was nothing short of a disaster for the Southern Vermont College women's basketball team.
SVC was completely outplayed by the Blazers, but only trailed 28-22 at halftime.
Lucky for the Mountaineers, there was a second half to play and SVC made it count, coming back in the second half to win, 58-47, their ninth win of the season.
The Mountaineers' comeback began early on in the third quarter when forward Shaniquewa Barnes took control of the game SVC.
The senior helped fuel a 9-3 run by the Mountaineers with four points to help tie the game up at 31-31.
"I tried to bring our team up after we had a tough first half," Barnes said. "We needed it and I knew I needed to push through to get us back in this game."
Late in the third, the Mountaineers took a five point lead after junior Amber Dow hit a three-pointer from the wing, Elms came back with a 6-0 run of their own to take a 1-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Barnes began to assert herself in the paint for SVC, scoring eight of her game-high 20 points in the final frame that help get the Mountaineers out to a five point lead.
Barnes was not just enforcing herself offensively, but also was doing a great job manning the paint on defense too, pulling in 14 of her game-high 20 rebounds in the second half to give her a double-double on the evening. She also did a great job defending Elms' star player J.C. Pickett, holding the senior to four points after she had scored 12 points in the first half.
"This was the best performance in Shaniquewa's career," said SVC women's basketball coach Mike Quinn. "She did a superb job running the floor and it was marvelous to watch her play tonight. She was amazing."
With the lead in hand, SVC captain Amber Flagg took over the game for the Mountaineers.
The senior scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half, seven in the fourth, which included knocking down six huge free throws in the final minutes to help seal the deal for the Mountaineers.
Flagg was overall 8-for-10 from the free throw line in the second half and had a game-high five steals in the game too.
"Honestly I had to slow my game down there in the second half because I was playing too fast in the first half and my game was suffering from it," Flagg said. "Once that second half started, I knew I needed to calm down a bit, which helped me become more aggressive in the half and help finish the comeback win for us."
Sophomore Chloe Lange also was in double-digits on the night for SVC, scoring 10 points in the win. With the win, SVC is now 9-6 on the season and 6-2 in the New England Collegiate Conference and the win against Elms also secured third place in the NECC.
"This was a huge win for us," Quinn said. "I was thrilled to see them respond well after the first half and this is a great moving forward for us this season."