Lady Cougars Move to 5-1 at Home, 7-4 Overall With Win Against Bristol CC
HOLYOKE, MA - Holyoke Community earned their 5th home win of the 2011-12 season last night at People's Bank Gymnasium against Bristol Community College. The Lady Cougars trailed at halftime for only the second time this season at home (first time resulted in a loss), but out-scored the Bee's 53-21 in the second half en route to the victory.
HCC found themselves in an early 5-0 hole before closing to within 1 with 5 minutes gone by (8-7). It was all perimeter shooting early on for Bristol who couldn't get much going to the basket against the Holyoke defense. Down 7, sophomore guard Jess Santiago (Holyoke) made 2 consecutive lay-ups to bring the Lady Cougars to within 3 (15-12) with 10:16 remaining in the first half. With 5 minutes left until the break, Holyoke found themselves down 10 points before stealing 2 in-bound passes in a row, leading to points each time. The HCC full-court press helped bring them to within 6 at halftime (31-25).
Bristol continued to struggle against the Holyoke press in the second half as the Lady Cougars came up steals in the open floor (14 steals in the game) that led to baskets at the other end. These hustle points contributed to a 33-33 tie at the 18:13 mark. A basket by freshman guard Erika Norcross (Monson) gave HCC their first lead of the game. After a Bristol turnover, Norcross drained a 3-pointer with the Bee's then answering with a 3 of their own (38-36). Momentum had officially shifted in favor of Holyoke Community when sophomore guard Ashley Barnish (Granby) made a 3-pointer that gave the Lady Cougars a 43-36 lead following a Bristol turnover resulting from a 5-second call near half-court. HCC had built a 10 point lead by the 8:30 mark and would go on to earn the 78-52 win.
Freshman forward Steph Picking (Wales) led all scorers with 27 points on 12 for 18 shooting while Jess Santiago (Holyoke), Jenn Perry (West Springfield) and Alicia Carter (Easthampton; shown above) each chipped in with double-digit scoring efforts.
Guard Maritza Gustave led the Bee's with 22 points.
The Lady Cougars move to 7-4 overall with the victory and host Springfield College JV on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Story and Photos by Matt Patenaude