No. 2 Smith Cruises to NEWMAC Quarterfinal Victory Over No. 7 Wellesley Basketball

Zojajha Ayub had 13 points and five rebounds for the Blue (Julia Monaco).
Zojajha Ayub had 13 points and five rebounds for the Blue (Julia Monaco).

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Seniors Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, BC, Can.) and Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga.) combined for 35 points to lead No. 2 Smith College to a 75-38 victory over No. 7 Wellesley College in the quarterfinals of the 2019 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Basketball Championship on Tuesday evening at Ainsworth Gymnasium. 

Smith (21-5 overall) advances to the NEWMAC semifinals for the third straight year, where the Pioneers will host No. 3 Springfield College (17-9 overall) following the Pride's 66-44 victory over No. 6 Clark University. 

Bondi scored 18 points to lead all scores, finishing 6-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-8 from three-point range. Guest-Pritchett added 17 points and 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double. First year Katelyn Pickunka (Westhampton, Mass.) chipped in with nine points off the Smith bench, as the Pioneers bench outscored the Blue 27-11 in the contest.

Senior Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds to lead the Blue in her final collegiate game. First years Valentina Morakis (Long Island, N.Y.) and Caitrin Spottiswoode (Storrs, Conn.) and junior Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) each chipped in with five points apiece.  

Bondi scored nine points in the first quarter on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc, as the Pioneers built a 19-14 lead through the opening ten minutes of the play. Smith opened the game on a 10-2 run but Wellesley cut into the early deficit behind hot shooting from Ayub. A pair of triples from the Blue senior at the end of the first cut the deficit to five heading into the second. 

The Pioneers took control of the contest with a 22-3 second quarter run, shooting 8-of-15 from the floor to take a 41-17 lead into the break. Smith dominated the paint in the quarter and in the half, finishing the opening twenty minutes with an 18-6 edge in points in the paint.

Leading by 24 at the half, the Pioneers would go on to lead by as many as 39 in the third quarter en route to the commanding 75-38 victory. Smith finished the game shooting 49% (25-of-51) from the floor and 44% (11-of-25) from three, while limiting the Blue to 32.6% (15-of-46) shooting. The Pioneers had a 44-13 advantage on the glass and finished with 15 assists as a squad.

Wellesley ends the season with an 8-15 overall record after advancing to the NEWMAC postseason for the first time since 2013-14.