Women's Basketball Turns Up The Pressure, Tops SVC, 68-48

Jamaya Cleveland finished with 11 points, seven steals and three assists in 68-48 win over Southern Vermont on Saturday (Nathan Minese photo).
Jamaya Cleveland finished with 11 points, seven steals and three assists in 68-48 win over Southern Vermont on Saturday (Nathan Minese photo).

THE BASICS
Score:
Dean College 68, Southern Vermont 48
Records: Dean College (1-4, 1-1 NECC), Southern Vermont (2-4, 0-2 NECC)
Location: Pieri Gymnasium, Franklin, Mass.
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018
Time: 2:00 PM

THE LEAD:
Dean College forced 37 turnovers – mostly off of a school-record 28 steals – and the host Bulldogs turned up the pressure on their way to a convincing 68-48 win over Southern Vermont in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

The win for the Bulldogs marked the first for new head coach Alycia Gervais and got Dean off on the right foot as they begin a busy stretch to end the first semester. Over the next two weeks, the Bulldogs will play six contests – three on the road, three at home – before they head into finals and the semester break.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
Southern Vermont had the score tied at 20-20 midway through the second quarter after a Kyra Bruesewitz reverse layup, but Dean closed the half by scoring ten of the next 15 points highlighted by layups from Sitaara Muhammad (Brockton, Mass.), Iindia Pina (Carver, Mass.) and Makayla Rudder (Springfield, Mass.) to head into halftime in front, 30-25.

That five-point advantage ballooned to as many as 18 in the third period after the Bulldogs ratcheted up the defense and forced 16 turnovers in the period as they outscored Southern Vermont 21-10. The game-changing run came late in the frame on a 12-2 burst and was capped by a steal and breakaway finish by Pina – who provided ten of the 12 points during the outburst.

Ahead 51-35 to start the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs saw their lead reach 20 when Rudder dropped in a long jumper early in the frame and it peaked at 22 following a Rudder rebound and coast-to-coast finish.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
The Mountaineers shot just 29.4 percent from the field, while Dean held a 45-37 edge on the glass and controlled the interior, outscoring Southern Vermont 44-12 in the paint and scored 26 points off of Mountaineer miscues.

Bruesewitz led the visitors with 18 points, connecting on five three-pointers. Maddy Main totaled nine points but was a force on the backboard for SVC, finishing with a game-best 19 rebounds.

Dean, meanwhile, was paced by a dominating performance from Rudder, who racked up 28 points (12-for-20), 14 rebounds and five steals.

Pina had her best game of the season, ending with 20 points, seven rebounds and six steals and Cleveland finished with 11 points and seven steals of her own.

UP NEXT:
The Bulldogs embark on their busy stretch with a road contest at Eastern Nazarene on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Southern Vermont is back in action on Tuesday as well at home against Bay Path.