Shane Kelly, Staff Writer
The Utica College women’s basketball team put on a dominating performance against conference opponent Alfred University this past Saturday at home, winning 75-59.
As soon as tip-off began UC came out strong. A full-court press was used for the majority of the game, which helped the Pioneers win the turnover battle. Alfred turned the ball over 26 times, and 16 of those turnovers were from steals that were created by the constant pressure of the Pioneer defense.
The Pioneers did not waste any time scoring in this game, leading 24-12 by end of just the first quarter. UC went into the locker-room at halftime with an 11 point lead 36-25. Sophomores Ashley Mayo and Ashelyne Babb were leading the Pioneers as Mayo had 13 points and Babb had 9 points. The ability to start off the game strong was one of the keys to the Pioneer victory, head coach Michele Davis said.
Mayo’s 13 points boosted her confidence to continue to shoot the ball, which would lead to more points scored for UC.
“When you get a couple baskets in the beginning of the game, it definitely helps build your confidence,” she said.
The early lead would turn into a constant lead as the Pioneers led all four quarters. The Saxons tried to figure a way back in the game, as they scored 34 points in the second-half, but the early start proved to be the main factor.
“We really put the pressure on them early,” Davis said. “We did not just let them stay in the game.”
The turnovers to transition offense would lead to a large distribution of scoring for the Pioneer, as nine different players added to the Pioneers’ points.
UC was led by Babb and Mayo who combined for 36 of UC’s points. Mayo scored 19 points, had eight rebounds and two assists, while Babb finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, a career-high eight assists and matched her career-high in steals with six.
The Pioneers had lost their last seven games before the match up with the Saxons. The team is now 8-11 overall with a 2-8 record in conference play. UC currently sits in eighth place in the Empire 8 and with six games left in the regular season, the win over Alfred could be the confidence boost they need.
“It’s good just to get this win,” senior guard Mary Miceli said. “It’s a little bit more of a confidence booster, we have been in every game we’ve played in but didn’t win. Hopefully we’ll take this energy and use it to win our next few games.”
UC will have a tough task ahead of them as they will be on the road the next two weekends and currently hold a 1-7 away record. They will travel to Elmira College on Friday night and then travel to Houghton College the following day to finish the road trip.