Big 2nd half leads Fisher past MCLA women's basketball

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NORTH ADAMS — Sometimes, the games right before a holiday break can be tough ones. That was the case for the MCLA women's basketball team on Tuesday night.

"It was us all game. We struggled. We didn't even play our game," MCLA coach Loren Stock said after the Trailblazers were beaten by Fisher College, 67-46, at the Amsler Campus Center.

"It's Thanksgiving break. We didn't go hard enough in practice," Stock said. "Yeah, we have some work to do."

The Trailblazers (2-4) led by as many as five points in the first quarter, but were tied with the Falcons 17-17 after the first 10 minutes.

The teams traded hoops in the second quarter and when MCLA's Kyla Langston — who had a game-high 17 points — drained a 3-pointer on an assist from Maddie Teta, the game was tied at 24.

From there, the visitors from Boston went on a 8-3 run to close out the half with a 32-27 lead. Jenny-Lynn Eggers, who also scored 17 points, scored inside, Vivian Lara got two off an MCLA turnover, and then Angel Bernardi scored inside, giving Fisher (7-5) a 30-24 lead.

Langston answered with the second of her two 3-point shots, cutting Fisher's lead to 30-27. Lauren Allen scored with 10 seconds left, and the game was 32-27 at intermission.

"Our focus all year has been on defense," Fisher coach Jesse Ford said. "We start every practice, we start every season focused on defense. We pressure the heck out of the ball, try to give up no easy shots. The whole goal is to give them nothing easy."

The teams traded baskets to start the third quarter, but Fisher then went on an 8-2 run, giving the Falcons some real breathing room.

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First Vivian Lara hit a deep 3-point shot, then Eggers was fouled on a drive to the basket. She made the shot and the free throw. After DiAsia Smith made a pair of free throws, Lauren Allen hit a pull-up jumper from the left baseline. It was 42-31, and the Trailblazers never got much closer.

"We were playing [MCLA] defense. We were running through our plays. We were being a little disciplined," Stock said. "Then we just started doing whatever we wanted, and that's what happened."

MCLA shot well in the first and third quarters, but were ice cold in the second and the fourth, as Fisher built up its lead and eventually pulled away.

MCLA had 24 turnovers in the game, but outrebounded Fisher 33-31.

Langston was the only Trailblazer to score in double figures. Hayley Jones came off the bench to score three, but pull down a game-high six rebounds.

For Fisher, Eggers had 17 points, Lara 15, and Allen 12.

MCLA started the game with one senior in Langston. Stock started three freshmen and one sophomore. And it's a team with eight freshmen or sophomores in the lineup.

The MCLA coach said she's hopeful that this game proves to be a learning experience.

"We're young. Absolutely, yes," she said.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.


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