Madeline Hubbard ’19 | Sports Editor
Smith basketball has had a killer start to their season with a 4-1 record so far. The team is full of seasoned athletes, with seven seniors and 10 total returners out of 13 players. This experience should continue to give the team a competitive edge in their season.
The Pioneers had their season opener against Pine Manor College Nov. 13 and dominated the game with a 72-27 win. Their second test against Dean College went just as smoothly, with an 80-55 final score. In the game against Dean, Point Guard Lauren Bondi ’19 scored a career high of 30 points. The team hosted the Annual Tyler Tip-Off last weekend and played Norwich University on Saturday. The Norwich game was tight in the first quarter. The Pioneers pulled ahead by the second half and ended the game with a hearty lead of 73-54. Kennedy Guest-Pritchett ’19 recorded her second double-double of the season.
The Pioneers moved on to play in the championships of the Tyler Tip-Off that Sunday for the fifth year in a row. The team played a tough game against Hartwick College, ending the game 74-65. The match was tied in the third quarter, and Smith just managed to buckle down and pull ahead in the final quarter to get the victory. Captain Lauren Bondi ’19 commented on the game: “The win against Hartwick College in the final game was a total team win. Everyone that took the floor competed hard and played within their role to help us get the win against a very tough Hartwick team.” Katy McClellan ’19 was declared the MVP of the tournament and named to the all-tournament team along with Bondi.
When asked about the start of the season, Bondi replied, “As a team, we’re really excited with the great start we’ve gotten off to this season. Winning our first two non-conference games on the road gave us the confidence we needed heading into back-to-back games in our home opening Tyler Tip-Off tournament. We begin our conference play on Wednesday against Springfield College, and we’re all feeling very motivated to play after a tough loss to NYU this past Sunday. With our veteran group of seniors leading the way, we’re feeling confident and excited to tackle these last three weeks of the first half of our season.”
The team is headed into a slew of NEWMAC competitions this upcoming week, and they’re going to be relying on their team chemistry and preseason preparation to push through to win their matches. This weekend, the team heads to eastern Massachusetts to take on the Babson Beavers in their second NEWMAC competition. The following Wednesday, the team plays Clark University at home. The basketball team would love your support, so take a break from studying Wednesday at 7 p.m. and head down to Ainsworth Gym to cheer on your Pioneers!