NEWPORT, R.I. - Junior point guard Kaitlyn Birrell (Scituate, R.I.) loves Saturdays in Newport. In two home basketball wins on Saturday this month, Birrell has totaled 37 points, 20 steals, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds. She's threatened triple-doubles on both occasions including today when she scored a game-high 17 points along with nine steals and eight assists in Salve Regina University's 61-30 win over visiting Roger Williams University in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action.
Birrell started the scoring off with a layup in the first minute. Salve Regina (10-6; 7-2 CCC), which never trailed in the contest, had a double-digit advantage (16-6) just six and a half minutes into the game following a Birrell free throw.
During a 12-0 run over a 3:41 stretch, five different Seahawks had field goals including a 3-pointer from sophomore Lisa Bucci (Irvington, N.Y.). Birrell had 11 points by halftime and was joined among the leaders by teammate Marissa Pendergast (Medfield, Mass.) with nine points.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Bovee (Berlin, Conn.) had eight at the break for Roger Williams (8-8; 5-4 CCC) which shot just 23.5 percent from the field in the first half.
Salve Regina's defense got even tougher in the second half, holding the visitor to 14.8 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes. Bovee finished with 11 points and was joined in double-figures by junior teammate Alexandria Lanieri (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) with 10. The Hawks were close with the Seahawks in rebounding, 41 to 45.
For its part, Salve Regina shot consistently from the floor, sinking at least 44 percent in both halves. Junior center Allison Pigoga (Exeter, R.I.) came off the bench to net eight points. She filled in for foul-plagued senior Lindsay Shorey (Ashland, Mass.). Both Seahawks combined for seven blocked shots (four and three, respectively) to give the team a total of 13.
Salve Regina wins its fourth straight and improves to 45-8 all-time versus Roger Williams in women's basketball. The Seahawks completed the first half of their conference schedule and get started on the second set of nine games with a re-match with Endicott College on Wednesday. Roger Williams suffers its second-straight setback and plays at Eastern Nazarene College on Wednesday.