HOLYOKE, Mass. - Elms College junior forward Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) netted a game-high 34 points and pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds as the Blazers erased a 42-34 halftime deficit to secure a 74-61 victory over Bay Path College in Tuesday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball game at Holyoke Community College.
With the win, Elms improves to 11-9 overall, 10-3 in league play, while Bay Path falls to 7-14 overall, 6-8 in conference action.
Parks has now moved into second on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,538 points. She passed Angel Esposito who netted 1,516 points from 1991-95 and is now just 74 points shy of tying Tenielle Hill's all-time record of 1,612 points set between 1999 and 2003.
Parks was 14 of 22 from the field and 6 of 10 from the free throw line en route to 34 points. Freshman guard Marissa Merrill (Meredith, N.H.) added 13 points and four assists, while junior forward JC Pickett (Chicopee, Mass.) secured 12 points and a tie for the game-high in rebounds with 14. She also distributed five assists and made four steals, while junior forward Gianna Youngblood (East Freetown, Mass.) chipped in seven points off the bench.
Freshman guard Emily Burr (East Hartford, Conn.) handed out a game-high seven assists as the Blazers shot 45.2-percent from the field as a team. Elms also held a 48-37 advantage in rebounding and a slim 17-15 edge in turnovers.
Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, Mass.) led the way for Bay Path pouring in 16 points and notching 14 rebounds. Toni Alexander (Enfield, Conn.) and Aaliyah Gordon (Springfield, Mass.) each added 14 points in the losing effort.
Alexander added six assists, while Skiffington highlighted the Wildcats' effort from the floor going 6 for 8.
In the first half, Parks poured in 19 of her 34 points but Skiffington nearly matched the effort with 14 points for the Wildcats as Bay Path shot 42.4-percent from the field. Brenna Roy (Stafford Springs, Conn.) added a trio of three-pointers off the bench in the frame.
Leading 36-32 with 3:09 to play in the half, Bay Path scored six of the final eight points of the period to stake a 42-34 halftime lead.
After Parks hit the front end of two free throws early in the second half, Gordon swished a trey to run the Wildcats' lead to 10 points and 45-35 with 18:48 to play. A pair of Pickett free throws sparked Elms' comeback as the Blazers quickly closed the gap over the next 6:48 and took the lead on a layup by Pickett with 12:00 minutes to play in the contest.
Alexander canned a three-pointer and Parks made a layup to set the score at 55-55 with 11:28 remaining and from there, Elms held Bay Path scoreless until Skiffington halted an 11-0 run by the Blazers to set the score at 66-57 at the 4:45 mark.
Elms continued to apply the pressure, never allowing the Wildcats to get to within less than 10 from that point on, finishing the contest by scoring eight of the final 12 points including a pair of free throws from Parks, Merrill and Pickett.
Elms returns to NECC action on Saturday, February 8 when it hosts Lesley University at 2:00 p.m. at Picknelly Arena.