February 9, 2012

Newbury Falls Short of Upset over Regis

The Newbury College women's basketball team fell to Regis College, 83-70, in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action, Thursday evening. Reigning NECC Player of the Week, junior center Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, Mass.) was the game's leading scorer netting 22 points while ripping down 13 boards and tallying seven blocks.  

Regis came into tonight's match-up against Newbury after never having trailed or tied going into the half. However the Pride can no longer boast about that little piece of trivia after the Nighthawks went to the locker room with the score all square at 35, something that no other school in the conference has been able to do.  

The Nighthawks came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Senior guard Morganna Machado (Attleboro, Mass.) found O'Connell in the post to put Newbury on the board first five seconds into the contest but defeating the conference's lone undefeated team was not going to be an easy task. But Newbury was up to the challenge.

When it appeared as if the Pride were beginning to pull away jumping out to a 7-4 run to take a five point lead nearly four minutes into the contest, the Nighthawks responded with a 10-3 run of their own to take a two point advantage. It was clear that the tone had been set early as Newbury had great intentions of handing Regis their first conference loss of the season.

Down by two with just under eight minutes left in the first half, O'Connell poked the ball out of an unaware sophomore guard Teresa Busiek's (Arlington, Mass.) hands leading to a nearside trey from Machado to give the Nighthawks back the one-point advantage. But like the rest of the half was going it was short lived as the lead bounced back-and-forth like a ping-pong ball before first year guard Nephie Marsh (Brockton, Mass.) ended the half with jumper in the key to knot up the score at 35.

Regis struggled to contain O'Connell early on as the South Shore native nearly achieved her 15th double-double of the season in the first half, tallying 12 points while pulling down eight boards and rejecting four field goal attempts.

When the teams emerged from the locker, the battle remained heated and close until the Pride were able to string together an 11-2 run midway through the half to take the 68-54 lead. But the Nighthawks continued to hang around and responded with a mini 5-0 run to pull to within single digits.

However, it did not last for long as Regis plowed ahead once more. Late in the half first year guard Janaya Bradley (New Haven, Conn.) ignited a 10-2 run, which gave the Pride their largest lead of the game and sealed their 16th victory of the season, with a put-back bucket at 5:36.

Four Nighthawks reached double figures in the loss. Sophomore forward Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.) registered her fifth double-double of the season, tallying 17 points and 13 boards while senior guard Shayla White (Dorchester, Mass.) followed up with 15 points. Machado rounded out the foursome in double figures netting 10 points while dishing out a game-high six assists and picking the pockets of the Pride a game-high four times.

Newbury falls to 12-10 and 10-5 in conference action with the loss while Regis remains undefeated in the NECC improving to 16-0 and 19-4 overall. The Nighthawks look to return to their winning ways this weekend they tip-off against Mitchell College on the road in New London, Conn. at 12:00 p.m.

Game Notes:

Regis has only trailed at the half in two games this season – both non-conference against King's College (PA) (12/30/11) and Colby College (1/24/12)…There were seven lead changes and 10 ties in the first half…The teams were even in the paint, Newbury outscored Regis 24-18 in the first but flip-flopped in the second with Regis outscoring Newbury, 24-18 in the paint in the second.