Somerville handed fifth-ranked Arlington Catholic its second straight loss, knocking off the visiting Cougars, 61-50, last night.
After losing to Arlington Catholic, 60-50, two weeks ago, the Highlanders (10-10) came out firing, leading, 35-23, at halftime. Sophomore forward Melissa Baptista scored 14 of her 15 points in the first half and junior guard Indira Evora exploded for 30 points.
But the Highlanders all-around defensive effort made the biggest difference. Baptista pulled down 14 rebounds and Evora had 10 steals.
Ten steals is a tremendous number against as good a team as AC, said first-year coach John DePasquale. Defense was the biggest factor, our defense was outstanding.
AC (19-3) didn't go down without a fight.
Led by Emma Roberson's 30 points, the Cougars clawed back to within 4 points. Then Evora intercepted a cross-court pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup that gave the Highlanders breathing room.