Leicester, Mass. --- Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, Mass.) and Chelsea Joubert (Westborough, Mass.) each scored 18 points as Becker College defeated the Mountaineers of Southern Vermont, 70-61, Tuesday night at the Leicester Gym. Becker now holds a 2-11 record with a 2-5 mark in the NECC. Southern Vermont falls to 4-9 and 3-3 in conference.
The hosts quickly jumped out to a 9-2 lead, led by Mojica who scored seven points in the first five minutes of play. Good defense by the Hawks caused the Mountaineers to miss six of their first seven shots. A highlight for Becker came four and a half minutes into the game when Haley Ooms (Valatie, N.Y.) pulled down a defensive rebound and tossed it the length of the court to a streaking Chelsea Joubert for an easy layup. Good rebounding and aggressive passing helped Becker take a ten-point advantage off a jumper by Joubert with 12:22 remaining in the opening half.
Southern Vermont would mount a 6-0 rally to cut Becker's lead to four after a jumper by Ashliy Veliz (Glendale, Ca.) with 10:14 left in the first period. With five minutes remaining, Joa Claircius (Clermont, Fl.) finished a layup to pull the Mountaineers to within a basket, 23-21. With three minutes left in the period, Joubert hit a huge three to put the Hawks up 30-24. Southern Vermont would respond again with a 5-0 stretch that included a fast-break layup by Kourtney Hewitt (Bennington, Vt.), pulling the Mountaineers to within one. But the Hawks would close out the first half on a 6-1 run, highlighted by back-to-back layups from Michelle Griczika (Barre, Mass.), as the Hawks went into halftime with a 36-30 lead. Joubert led all scorers in the opening period with ten points as Becker never trailed.
In the second half, the teams traded baskets early, looking to build momentum. Joubert finally broke the stalemate, hitting on a three-pointer to help spark a 7-0 run by the Hawks, giving Becker a 48-36 lead with 14:11 left in the game. The Mountaineers would rally, using an 8-0 run to pull within two at 52-50. Becker responded with a 6-0 run capped off by a jumper from Kristina Desnoyers (Adams, Mass.) with 7:29 left. The Hawks made their free throws when it counted, including two big shots by Ooms to put Becker up by seven with 1:18 remaining. Southern Vermont would not threaten again as Becker picked up its second win of the season.
Mojica was a dominant force inside, pulling down ten rebounds in addition to her 18 points. Mojica also swatted away two blocks and tallied two steals. Joubert added six rebounds in equaling Mojica with 18 points. Desnoyers was unstoppable on the boards with a career-high 17 rebounds with 11 points, five assists and two steals. Ooms dished out a game-high eight assists with nine points and two steals. Ooms was best in the clutch, hitting key free throws and collecting a block in the closing minutes. Griczika added ten points.
Veliz had an incredible performance for Southern Vermont, coming off the bench to score 18 points and pulling down 18 rebounds. Dayna Carpenter (Northampton, Ma.) had 11 points and six boards. Hewitt and Alyssa Davis (West Burke, Vt.) both added nine points.
The Hawks will travel to Wheelock on Thursday, January 19th, to take on the Wildcats. The Mountaineers are also back in action on Thursday, when they hosts the Pride of Regis College.