SMITHFIELD, R.I. (January 11th, 2020) – The Mount women's basketball (8-7, 3-0 NEC) team held on to become 3-0 in Northeast Conference play for the first time since the 2005-06 season after defeating Bryant 76-70 on Saturday afternoon. Michaela Harrison (18 points), Jatarrikah Settle (17 points), and Rebecca Lee (17 points, 9 rebounds) led the way for the Mountaineers as they extended their win streak to three games.
The Mountaineers came out of the gates firing to take an early 6-0 lead over the Bulldogs. After a back and forth first quarter, the Mount found themselves up 21-19. The second quarter is when the Mountaineers started to heat up from downtown. Three-pointers from Bridget Birkhead, Aryna Taylor, Harrison, and Settle had the Mount up by 15 at the end of the first half.
Mount St. Mary's shot 7-of-12 from three in the first half and held a 22-8 advantage of points in the paint. Bryant did not lead for a single second in the first two quarters as the Mount held the lead for 19:38 of 20:00 minutes.
The Bulldogs came out in the second half with adjustments to try and fluster the Mountaineer train. After a three from Settle that gave the Mount their largest lead of 18 points (50-32), Bryant went on a 20-4 run in the final six minutes of the third quarter. Bryant's press seemed to agitate the Mountaineers as it forced six turnovers and held them to a 27.3 shooting percentage from the field in the third quarter. The Bulldog defense held the Mount to just nine points in the third quarter.
The final frame of the game seemed to be the Lee, Harrison, and Settle show as this trio accounted for all 22 Mount points in the fourth quarter. Every time Bryant seemed to get close one of these three would have an answer. A Bulldog layup had the Mountaineers up 65-63 with under seven minutes remaining. An ensuing bucket and a foul from Lee would give the Mountaineers a five-point cushion. After a turnover from Settle, Harrison halted the Bulldogs 2-on-1 fast break with a big block. After the block, she hit Lee for an easy layup on the other end to give the Mountaineers a much needed 7-point lead with two minutes to go. Free throws from Lee and Harrison would eventually put the dagger in the Bulldogs 76-70.
The Mountaineers never trailed in the matchup and held the lead for 39:38 of 40 minutes over Bryant (3-12, 1-2 NEC). The Bulldogs had four different scorers finish in double figures but were not able to overcome the 15-point halftime deficit.
Mount St. Mary's women's basketball will next travel to North Andover, Mass. to take on Merrimack on Monday night at 7PM.