Big first half propels SVC past Bay Path

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BENNINGTON — The 2017-18 season hasn't been a great one for the Southern Vermont College women's basketball team.

Coming into Thursday's game, the Mountaineers were winless at the Mountaineer Athletic Center at 0-12.

As the season winds down, one of the goals was to get a win at home and SVC did that, roaring out to a big halftime lead and winning 55-36 over Bay Path in a New England Collegiate Conference matchup.

"We had a great couple of practices, we've been shooting well at practice and we felt a good vibe coming in," said SVC coach Christin Gowan. "We knew we hadn't had a home win yet, so today was the chance to capitalize, and the girls knew that."

Junior Maddy Main led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting. She added 16 rebounds to her line for another double-double and nearly had a triple-double, adding seven blocks to her line.

"Maddy just plays incredibly hard, all the time," Gowan said. "She wills the ball to go in the basket and she definitely works for all of her points. She's the number one focus of everyone we play and she just grinds it out."

The Mountaineers got away to a quick start off the opening tip, scoring the first seven points for the early lead. With the surge, the outside shooting was strong as well, as SVC made four 3-pointers in the quarter, led by a pair from Sarah Poirier, who had 10 points overall on 4-of-13 shooting.

"You see the first one [go in] and I feel that confidence roll into everyone else," Gowan said. "We got down early in their place, so to get up early here was a confidence boost."

SVC took the lead and the momentum into the second as Main scored seven of her game-high 24 in the frame. Brianna Soucy's 3-pointer with three seconds left gave the Mountaineers a 32-11 lead at halftime.

SVC came out of the locker room as fast as they did at the beginning, starting the third quarter on a 10-4 run. Main had 10 points in the quarter as SVC led by 29, 48-19, after three.

Bay Path fought throughout despite the large deficit. They started the fourth on a 13-1 run and got as close as 49-32, but a Main basket put an end to the rally.

Kaylee Herring was the only Bay Path player in double figures with 10 points. Emmeline Bronson added seven in defeat.

Brenna Hudson chipped in with eight for SVC.

"It's nice when we can get Brenna rolling inside," Gowan said. "She's top 5 in shooting percentage in the conference. Any time we can get her the ball, it's going to fall."

SVC improves to 4-20 on the year, but with a 3-12 conference mark, the Mountaineers are still mathematically eligible to reach the conference playoffs. SVC has to win on Saturday and Lesley has to lose for that scenario to take place.

"It's great to peak at the end of the year, and we still have the opportunity to make the playoffs," Gowan said. "We're playing to save our season on Saturday and tonight was a great lead-in to that."


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