Bennington, VT - The Southern Vermont Mountaineers jumped out to an early first half lead and were able to hang on to defeat the Newbury Nighthawks 72-63 on Saturday evening in New England Collegiate Conference Women's basketball action.
The Mountaineers were led by Ashliy Veliz who had a team high 16 points and 14 rebounds. The double-double was Veliz's fourth in six games. Sherrita Hall added 15 points of her own for the Mountaineers to go with three assists.
The Nighthawks were led by Shayla White who had a team high 21 points behind 9-23 shooting. Katie Haney had 15 points to go along with 14 rebounds from Catherine O'Connell.
Southern Vermont entered the game three games behind Newbury, but showed no signs of being intimidated. The Mountaineers jumped on the Nighthawks early and were able to lead by as much as 15 in the first half. The Mountaineers ended the first half with an 11 point advantage, but in the second half saw their lead dwindle.
The Nighthawks eventually were able to battle all the way back and even the score at 53-53 at the 6:25 mark, after two Morganna Machado free throws. Southern Vermont responded with consecutive baskets from Joa Clarcius, and after two more Kourtney Hewitt free throws the Mountaineers led by six with only 4:53 remaining. The two sides would trade baskets until the final minute but the Nighthawks were unable to come any closer than five points. Southern Vermont used nine free throws over the final 1:23 to ice game away.
With the win the Mountaineers improve to 6-12 on the season and 5-6 in the NECC while the Nighthawks fall to 9-9 and 7-4 in the NECC.Southern Vermont will be in action next on January 31st when they will host NECC opponent Daniel Webster at 6:00pm. Newbury is off until February 2nd when they host NECC opponent Mitchell. Tipoff is set for 5:00pm