Mount Ida Uses Late Run to Down Gators, 87-76

NEWTON, Mass. -- A 14-2 Mount Ida run late in the second half helped to break open a tight contest and give the host Mustangs an 87-76 victory over visiting Pine Manor on Thursday evening at the Mount Ida College Athletic Center in Newton, MA. With the result, Pine Manor drops to 3-7 overall while Mount Ida improves to 6-6 overall.

Mount Ida senior Evebonee Acosta (Hartford, CT) led all scorers with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, scoring 17 of her game-high total in the first half. Acosta helped Mount Ida get out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minute of the game before Pine Manor got on the board thanks to a pair of free-throws by freshman Sybil Lynch (Hoboken, NJ). Lynch finished with 14 points for the Gators while sophomore Natasia Franklin (Windsor, CT) scored a team-high 18 points.

Mount Ida swelled its early advantage to 13-6 at the 16:27 mark of the first before the Gators pieced together a 6-0 run to make the contest 13-12 following a layup by Franklin at 15:25. The teams then exchanged baskets, with neither side able to take a lead greater than two points until PMC sophomore Anastasia Walker (West Springfield, MA) gave the Gators a 24-21 lead midway through the first. Another layup by Franklin gave the Gators a five point advantage seconds later but Pine Manor's first half lead would grow no greater than six points, following a three-pointer by Lynch at 6:12. 

Mount Ida continued to hang around and eventually pieced together an 11-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from sophomore Allison O'Connor (Leominster, MA) with 2:43 to play before the break. A pair of Pine Manor buckets from freshmen Khiyana Isaac (Boston, MA) and Meagan Badohu (Boston, MA) tied the score at 41-all. However, Mount Ida would close out the half with a layup by Leslie Campbell (Quincy, MA) to take a 43-41 advantage at the half.

Pine Manor opened the second half with back-to-back three pointers by Lynch and freshman Alexis Lee (Akron, OH), taking a 47-43 advantage just 44 seconds after the break. However, with PMC leading 49-45, Mount Ida used three straight baskets to regain the lead at 52-49 with 17:11 remaining. Lee finished the game with 14 points for the Gators.

The teams then continued to go back and forth just as they had in the first half. A 56-51 Mount Ida lead was the biggest advantage that either team would gain until the Mustangs were able to separate themselves with a 14-2 run late in the second, capped by a a pair of free throws by Jenn Rafuse (Brockton, MA), that gave the Mustangs an 85-71 advantage with just under three minutes to play. From there Mount Ida cruised to the 87-76 victory.

Pine Manor will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Paxton, MA to take on Anna Maria College at 1:00 p.m. Mount Ida will also return to the court this Saturday when they host Norwich at 1:00 p.m.

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