An 18-point, seven rebound performance from sophomore guard Megan Baird paced the DeSales University women’s basketball program to a 67-48 victory over the College of Staten Island on Tuesday evening, in the opening round of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic hosted at Springfield College.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 7-3 overall on the season, while the Dolphins fall to 5-6 on the year. DeSales shot 27-for-69 (39.1%) from the field in the contest, while Staten Island was 18-for-60 from the field over the course of 40 minutes.
Baird’s six three-pointers on the day tie the sophomore with the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic record for three-pointers in a single game, as she is now tied with three players who achieved the accomplishment in previous years. Along with Baird, three other players registered double digits in the scoring column, with Morgan McCollian netting 14 points, Kelly Anthony 12 and Mikelyn Mackavage with 11 in the win.
For the Dolphins, Victoria Crea led the way with 17 points, while Megan Myhre posted 11 points and four rebounds in the loss.
After jumping out to a 9-4 lead, following a lay-up from Jen Napolitano, the Dolphins’ Crea converted a three-point play to bring the score to within a pair, before Baird dropped a three-pointer to make it 14-7 Bulldogs with 13:19 remaining in the opening half.
At the 10:25 mark, the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run, capped off by a pair of free-throws from Kelly Anthony to give DeSales a 28-9 advantage. The Dolphins ended the opening stanza on a 9-2 run of their own, finishing with a jump shot from Alyssa Carlsen to close out the half.
Midway through the second half, Napolitano extended the Bulldogs lead to 12 before a three-pointer from Baird to make it 53-40, DeSales advantage. After back-to-back triples from Baird, the Bulldogs extended its lead to 21 points, forcing a timeout.
With a 65-48 late in the contest, Mackavage hit the final runner to close out the 67-48 victory.
DeSales advances to play in the championship game against Springfield College on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m., while Staten Island will face Connecticut College in the consolation game at 1 p.m.