Blazers Fall Short to Widener, 77-61

Rachel Wiley

FREDERICK, Md. - Hood College could not maintain its fast start and dropped a Commonwealth Conference tilt 77-61 to Widener University.

The Blazers started out hitting their first six shots and jumped out to leads of 6-0 and 11-2, the latter coming with 16:52 on the clock. Rachel Wiley (Frederick, Md. / Tuscarora) hit the last shot of the streak 38 seconds later to make the score 13-5. Wiley led Hood with 15 points and six boards on 6-of-8 shooting.

The Pride went on a 13-2 run over the next five and a half minutes to take an 18-15 lead with 10:50 remaining in the half. The run was sparked by a Brianna Wylie layup, who had four of her 14 first-half points during the momentum shifter. 

Jessy Burke (Monrovia, Md. / Linganore) hit a jumper to cut the lead to 23-21 with 7:34 on the clock, but Widener did not allow the Blazers to get any closer. 

Jen Egee hit four free throws within a a 30 second span to extend the lead to 33-26 with 4:28 left, and then Joanna Persiano hit a 3-point field goal to give Widener the first double-digit lead of the game.

Egee led the Pride with 19 points, but a strong defensive effort by the hosts held her to 4-of-14 from the floor. She was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe, and added 14 rebounds. Wylie added another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. 

Widener extended the lead to 41-26 before Allie Appleby (Bel Air, Md. / C. Milton Wright) hit her lone 3-pointer of the day with 1:23 on the clock. The Pride went into halftime with a 43-31 lead.

Verkia Smith (Waldorf, Md. / North Point) spearheaded a 9-0 run out of the gates of the second half, scoring five of her 14 points. Rachel Kessler (Middletown, Md. / Middletown) cut the deficit to 43-40, just 4:49 into the half. 

Courtney Colella scored four points, sandwhiched around a jumper by Egee, to extend the lead back to nine at 49-40 with 14:39 on the clock. Hood battled back and Wiley converted a 3-point play with 10:59 left in the half to cut the lead down to three at 50-47. 

Widener ended any further comeback hopes with a 10-3 run to open a 60-50 lead with 7:08 on the clock, capped by two more Egee free throws. 

The Blazer defense held the Pride to 34 percent shooting from the field (23-of-67), and recorded five blocks, two coming from Burke. 

Hood will host Lebanon Valley on February 10, to play the twice postponed matchup from earlier this month.