Beauford's double-double not enough at Bay Path

LONGMEADOW, MA -- Pine Manor dropped its season opener, 73-62, Sunday afternoon at Bay Path College.

The Gators took an early lead, 4-2, on a Gina Simpson-Hobbs jumper, but a late first half Wildcats run put Bay Path in front by 13 at halftime, 44-31. Stacie Beauford scored six points and grabbed five rebounds, while Phibe Pham played all 20 minutes in the first and pulled down five boards of her own, but the Gators turned the ball over 16 times in the opening frame alone, digging a hole out of which the team could not climb.

Beauford scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in all, leading Pine Manor in her second career double-double. Freshman Tia Nelson enjoyed a successful college debut, connecting on 3-5 three-point field goals for 11 points, and Paulette Wright scored all 10 of her points in 10 minutes in the second half.

Back-to-back Wright layups cut the Gators deficit to five in the final 90 seconds, but five Wildcats free throws and a jumper  in the last minute fended off the Gators, locking up an 11-point win for the home team. 

Beauford added four steals, Pham totaled seven points, six boards, five assists and a pair of steals and Wright chipped in with six rebounds in limited play.

Forward Jessica Hunt was the difference for Bay Path, turning in 19 points, 16 rebounds and five steals. Brittney Alexander added 21 points, eight boards and four assists as the Wildcats outrebounded the Gators 55-47.

Bay Path converted on 29 of 48 free throws, shooting 60 percent, while the Gators shot 16-34 from the stripe for a paultry 47 percent.

Pine Manor takes on another NECC foe Wednesday night in the team's home opener, playing host to Newbury at 7 p.m.

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