Elms prevails over Lasers in overtime thriller

By Taylor Viles – Print Sports Editor

Lasell’s Juju Nealy practices her three-point shot less than an hour from her game-tying basket from the same spot. Photo by Taylor Viles

Two evenly matched teams took the floor for a Monday night game at the athletic center on February 7. The Lasell women’s basketball team (8-10 overall) welcomed the Elms College Blazers (8-7 overall) to campus for the start of their busy week, and this game did not disappoint.

The Blazers began right where they left off when Lasell had been on their campus four days prior, and won 69-67. In the first quarter on Monday night, Elms put 16 points on the board and were able to keep Lasell on the outside allowing very little on the offensive side. The Lasers did manage to score 10 points.

Lasell woke up at the start of the next quarter. The team scored 18 points in the second quarter led by two time player of the week, senior forward Meg Carroll. Carroll notched seven points and two assists during the frame, finishing with 17 points regaining the form she showed earlier in the season.

Once Elms came back in the middle of the third quarter, the game went back and forth until the conclusion. Elms’ consistency kept them in the game when Lasell had threatened to pull away, scoring 16 points in three different quarters and 15 points in overtime.  

The score was 51-50 Blazers with 45 seconds to go and a timeout had been called by Lasell. Four Lasers were up to four fouls each by this point, keeping them from playing tight defense in the dying minutes.

Working quickly with the ball, the Lasers inbounded but Carroll missed a go-ahead mid-range jumpshot and the defense rebounded.

An Elms timeout followed. The Lasers, playing good defense, forced a turnover thanks to the work of first-year forward Mia Sullivan-Sanders with 25 seconds left. Sullivan-Sanders finished with four steals and provided multiple energy boosts throughout the contest. 

With the ball back, Lasell couldn’t capitalize and instead turned possession over again with 21 seconds remaining. The Lasers fouled but first-year guard Aiyanalee Lopez only made one of two free throws for Elms. Lopez hurt the Lasers all night long on both sides of the ball. Offensively, she recorded her season high with 31 points and also picked up 22 rebounds.

With the ball back, Lasell failed to score again as first-year guard Juju Nealy missed a corner 3-pointer. Nealy finished with 14 points, second on the team. 

Another foul was committed by Lasell and again Lopez went one for two from the line, setting up a final second game tying script for the Lasers. With 9.7 seconds reading on the scoreboard, Sullivan-Sanders inbounded the ball to the dynamic three-point shooter Nealy. From beyond the arc, she took two dribbles and pulled up. The athletic center erupted as the ball swished through the hoop and Nealy was mobbed by her teammates at center-court. The game was tied 53-53. 

Only first-year guard Jasmine DePina for Lasell had fouled out by the start of overtime. But in the first few minutes, Caroll and senior guard Marie Zampano had their night come to an early end, each recording their fifth foul. Losing top talent proved too much for the Lasers in overtime, and the Blazers pulled away, completing the impressive 68-57 victory.

With the loss, Lasell dropped to eighth place in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) standings.

The team will welcome GNAC opponent St. Joseph (Connecticut) to the athletic center on Wednesday night for another exciting matchup. Tip off is at 5:30 p.m.

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