BURLINGTON, Vt. - Players competing in their first contest with the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team accounted for 29 points on Saturday, as the Purple Knights trailed Division I University of Vermont by 10 points midway through the second half of an eventual 69-52 loss in Patrick Gymnasium during an exhibition game. The Purple and Gold held close with a team that qualified for last year's America East Tournament and was predicted to take fourth this year.
First-year Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret Scool) netted a team-high 12 points for the visitors, canning four three-pointers, while redshirt sophomore Kaitlin Geary (Milton, Vt./Milton) had eight points after missing the past two seasons due to injury. Senior Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) had seven points, six rebounds and four steals, classmate Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) notched 11 rebounds, and senior Kayla Carnell (Burlington, Mass./Burlington) totaled six points. First-year Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) added four points and six boards, and classmate Theresa Carey (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Hampton Bays) had five points.
Twelve different Catamounts scored, with sophomore Niki Taylor (York, Maine/York) totaling 13 points, while classmate Kayla Burchill (Portland, Maine/Deering) had 12 behind 4-of-6 three-point shooting. Senior Shanai Haber (Paterson, N.J./Paterson Kennedy) contributed nine rebounds and five assists.
Senior Rachele Bernache (Rockland, Mass./Rockland) canned a three at 18:44 of the opening half to counter three early UVM points, but the Catamount scored eight of the next nine to grab an 11-4 advantage. Saint Michael's went on a 12-5 jaunt of its own, with Gaudreau burying a pair of threes, including the tying triple at 8:52 to make it 16 apiece.
UVM scored the next 15 points on the strength of 6-for-7 shooting, canning three three-pointers, before the Purple Knights pulled to within nine by halftime, beginning a 14-4 spurt that bridged the intermission. Burud knocked down a pair of free throws at 2:27 to end her team's 6:24 scoreless stretch, Carey added a trey, and Carnell took a lob pass underneath before making a nice move to lay it left-handed off glass with 10 seconds to go and provide a 35-26 halftime score.
Adach and Carnell added hoops in the opening 77 seconds of the second period to bring their team within five, but UVM responded with a 13-2 run, with six points coming from Taylor, to take a 48-32 lead. Geary's long jumper from the corner was followed by a Gaudreau three that trimmed the Saint Michael's deficit to 50-40 at 10:45, but Burchill buried three threes during an 11-0 run. The visitors continued chipping away at the UVM lead, scoring 10 of the next 14 points to make it 65-50, with Geary providing a pair of buckets. However, the Purple Knights came no closer.
Saint Michael's begins its regular season against Molloy College on Nov. 10 during the University of Bridgeport Women's Basketball Classic at 2 p.m.