Smith Grabs 66-49 NEWMAC Victory Over Wellesley Basketball

Alyssa Cho scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Blue (Frank Poulin).
Alyssa Cho scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Blue (Frank Poulin).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Smith College senior Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, B.C., Canada) scored a game-high 26 points to lead the visiting Pioneers to a 66-49 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wellesley College basketball on Saturday at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

Smith has now won four straight and six of their last seven to improve to 15-5 on the season and 8-3 in conference play. The Blue drop to 7-10 overall and 4-7 in NEWMAC play with the setback.

Bondi was 10-for-18 from the floor, 6-for-11 from three, with four assists and four rebounds in 39 minutes of action. Senior Sydney Koh (Seattle, Wash.) added 15 points, shooting 5-for-10 from distance. The Pioneers finished the game 12-for-24 from three-point range. Senior Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga.) added a game-high 10 rebounds, while classmate Emma Seymour (Seattle, Wash.) added seven boards in 20 minutes off the Smith bench.

Wellesley sophomore Alyssa Cho (Hillsborough, Calif) scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Blue, knocking down 9-of-16 attempts from the floor. Cho added five rebounds and two assists. Junior Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) scored 12 points in the opening quarter before finishing the game with 17 on 7-of-9 shooting. Junior Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) chipped in with eight points while collecting two rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

The Blue jumped out to a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, as Aguirre finished the frame 5-for-6 from the floor to make the score 14-13 Wellesley. The Pioneers turned the one-point deficit into an 11-point lead at the start of the second quarter, scoring 12 straight points through the opening 6:11 to take a 25-14 lead when Koh hit a triple at 3:49. The Pioneers went on to outscore the Blue 15-4 in the second, taking a 28-18 lead at the break.

Wellesley started off the third quarter hot as they converted on four straight possessions, with Cho leading the charge with six points to cut the Pioneer lead down to four, 28-24. However, Smith halted Wellesley's run, running the lead back to ten, 36-26, on another Koh triple at 6:11. Smith would end the quarter up by 11, as the visitors hit 5-of-9 attempts from three to take a 49-38 lead into the fourth.

Smith continued to add to their advantage in the fourth, outscoring the Blue, 17-11, to close out the 66-49 victory. The Pioneers led by as many as 18 points in the fourth, shooting 7-for-13 from the floor in the quarter. The Pioneer had a 39-22 advantage on the glass and a 24-18 lead in points in the paint. Smith shot 51% (25-for-49) from the floor and 50% (12-for-24) from distance. Wellesley countered at 40.0% (22-of-55) from the floor, but the Blue were just 3-for-8 (37.5%) from three.

Wellesley will hit the road for a NEWMAC contest against Wheaton on Wednesday, January 30th at 7:00 PM, while Smith will look to extend their winning streak against Springfield on the 30th at 7:00 PM.