Women's Basketball: Gervais Nets 27 As Eagles Open On Top 76-71

Alycia Gervais picked up where she left off last season, pulling in a double double of 27 points and 12 boards in the Eagles' season opener Tuesday.

- Courtesy Mount Ida Sports Information -

Newton, MA - In the season opener, the Mount Ida College women's basketball team held a strong 10 point lead at halftime against visiting non-conference foe Daniel Webster College.  But the visitors chipped away for the bulk of the second stanza and capitalized in the final three minutes of play handing the Mustangs their first loss of the 2011-2012 season, 76-71 Tuesday night to give DWC its first win in the MaryLynn Skarzenski era.

The visitors were led by an impressive performance from senior guard Alycia Gervais (Windham, CT/Windham) with a game high 27 points and 12 boards good for a double-double.  Eagle senior guard Sarah Paternostro (Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury/UConn-Avery Point) nearly eclipsed a triple-double for the night with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.  Paternostro was pestered all evening by Rivera defensively coughing up 11 turnovers.  Senior Kirsten Murphy (Woodstock, VT/Woodstock Union) was strong underneath with 13 points and six caroms.

Mount Ida was led by senior center Katie Morvan (Northbridge, MA/Northbridge) recording a year opening double-double with 12 points and 10 caroms adding two blocks as well.  Junior transfer Evebonee Acosta (Hartford, CT/Bulkeley/Gold-Beacom College) and sophomore forward Abbey Fedigan (New Fairfield, CT/New Fairfield) tallied 17 points a piece to lead the Mustangs offensively.  Senior guard's Shannon Wood (Gorham, ME/Catherine McAuley/Bryant University) and Jeileen Rivera (Springfield, MA/Springfield Central) combined for 10 steals respectively.

The visitors shot an impressive 71 percent from downtown in the second half going 5-7 to keep the score close enough to finish the game out at the end.  Mount Ida had a rough night from beyond the arc going 1-16 with the only made trifecta coming from Wood.  Eagle senior Kacie Lang (Raymond, NH/Raymond) buried three of four from long range to lead her squad totaling 14 points.

Through the first six and a half minutes (13:26) the Mustangs built a strong eight point lead up 12-4 following a 9-0 run capped off on a lay-in by Fedigan.

The Eagles fought back compiling an 11-0 run to take their second lead of the contest, their first coming on the opening basket of the game, making it 16-12 with 8:38 remaining the first half.

After the squad's exchanged hoops for the next couple of minutes, the Mustangs mounted an impressive 14-0 run to finish out the final seven minutes and 44 seconds with a 28-18 halftime lead.  Mount Ida did not allow the visitors to sink one bucket through the entire run.

The Mustangs created 16 first half turnovers, nine coming in the final eight minute stretch, to aid in Mount Ida's 10 point midway advantage.

To start the second stanza, the Mustangs handed over their lead with the Eagles powering an immediate 11-0 run to pull ahead by three points up 31-28 at the 17:15 mark.

For the next couple of minutes the game was not separated by more than a point with seven lead changes.  Mount Ida sophomore Missy Collins (East Hartford, CT/East Hartford) knotted the score for the fourth time at 38-38 with a jumper with 14:50 remaining.

The contest would tie twice more in the next three minutes with the Mustangs eventually taking a three point (45-42) advantage with 13:01 showing on the clock on a Fedigan free throw.

The visitors went back up by four (51-47) with less than 10 minutes to go in the contest following a trifecta from Eagle freshman Allyssa Marson (Augusta, ME/Coney).

Daniel Webster continued to fire away offensively and would ultimately build a seven point advantage with 4:29 remaining in regulation on sharp free throw shooting down the stretch and multiple missed shots by the Mustangs.

Mount Ida could have kept the game close in the final four minutes of play but struggled to sink basket from the line and the floor letting the visitors keep the Mustangs at arms length up nine after a good lay-in by Marson (68-59).

The Eagles would eventually build their biggest lead of the contest up 10 at 71-61 with 1:16 left in the game after a successful fast break lay-in by Gervais.

The Mustangs chipped the visiting lead down to four points on a Fedigan jumper with 38 ticks left to go.  But unfortunately for the hosts they struggled to hit key final shots to get it back to even ultimately falling 76-71.

Mount Ida women's basketball will head to Keene State College this coming Friday for a weekend tournament through Saturday afternoon.  They will face the hosting Owls Friday with game time slated for 1:00 p.m.  The Eagles will head home to host non-league Lasell College Thursday evening with tip-off at 7:00 p.m.

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