Monroe Leads MCLA Men Past Rivier

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Ki-Shawn Monroe scored a career best 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the MCLA men's basketball team to a convincing 92-69 win this afternoon over visiting Rivier in the Amsler Campus Center on Saturday.
 
In the opening half, the MCLA defense held Rivier to just 26% shooting while the home team converted on a sizzling 67% of their attempts. MCLA (5-4) led just 15-12 early on, but used a 16-3 spurt to increase the lead to 31-15 with 7:22 left in the half. The Trailblazers would continue the offensive onslaught and lead 53-28 at the half.
 
Chris Becker was outstanding in the opening half for MCLA. The center went 7-for-7 from the floor for 14 first half points. Ki-Shawn Monroe tallied 11 points and eight boards in the opening half of play. 
 
MCLA was never challenged in the second half as they cruised to victory.
 
Monroe was 7-10 from the floor and chipped in 4 assists and 6 steals.  Becker ended with 18 points. Hayden Bird came off the bench to score 16 points while Noah Yearsley added 13.
 
Rivier (2-7) was led by Issiah Chappell's game best 22-point night.  Rivier was held to just 33% shooting.
 
MCLA goes to Elms on Tuesday.
 
Women's Basketball
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Smith College's Katelyn Pickunka scored 18 points to lead the Pioneers to a runaway win over MCLA, 89-40.
 
Smith (7-0) left little doubt in this one as they jumped out to a 26-12 lead after one quarter and led 51-22 at halftime. After outscoring MCLA 25-8 in the third quarter, the game was never in doubt.
 
Pickunka was 6-7 from the floor in just 17 minutes of action. Dashelle Gleissner added 11 points for Smith.
 
The Pioneers shot 65% from the floor and held a sizable 39-19 rebounding edge.
 
MCLA (2-6) was paced by Drury graduate Brooke DiGennaro's season best 18-point effort. She was 6-for-11 from the floor and 3-5 from three point land.  Shannon Carney chipped in with 12 points.
 
MCLA is back in action on Tuesday when they head to Schenectady, N.Y., to face Union.
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Guest Column: Statement on Sentencing in Steele-Knudslien Murder

Guest Column
As the region's longest-serving LGBTQ organization, Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition has closely followed the case of the murder of Christa Steele-Knudslien, the North Adams resident and founder of the Miss Trans New England Pageant. 
 
Today [Thursday], her murderer has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 25 years. In the two years since we lost Christa, the community has rallied around her memory and inspiration. In North Adams, a grassroots task force was founded in reaction to her death and those of other residents killed by their partners. This led to the Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, a coalition of community agencies such as Elizabeth Freeman Center, law enforcement, and the court system, currently working to end domestic violence in Berkshire County for good. 
 
On the brighter side, over the past two years the Berkshire Pride Festival has grown to be a major event, celebrating and uplifting the trans community that Christa cared about so much. An annual award for local LGBTQ leaders has been established in her name and with her spirit. Clothing swaps have happened where Berkshire residents shared the joy and beauty of being trans, the same goal Christa had in mind when founding her pageant. Rainbow Seniors and the Berkshire Trans Group expanded their meetings, providing support and connection from Williamstown to Great Barrington.
 
Politically, a local contingent spent hours organizing and fighting to pass the state ballot measure last year that made Massachusetts the first state to successfully defend an attack on a trans rights bill, setting a strong precedent for human rights across the nation. And we mourned, as a community, at each Trans Day of Remembrance, a national event that struck home when we read Christa's name amongst those murdered.
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