Salve Regina ends regular season as No. 2 seed

Kaitlyn Birrell had her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 assists.
Kaitlyn Birrell had her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 assists.

BRISTOL, R.I. – The Roger Williams University Women's Basketball team closed out the 2011-12 regular season on a high note with a 67-58 victory over Salve Regina University Saturday afternoon. The win for the Hawks snaps a 13-game skid to the Seahawks, giving Roger Williams its first win over Salve Regina since February 2005.

Roger Williams improves to 11-7 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and 14-11 overall. The Hawks clinch the #5 seed and will travel to #4 Endicott on Tuesday for their CCC Quarterfinal matchup.

Salve Regina drops to 13-5 in the conference and 16-9 overall. The Seahawks will be the #2 seed in the conference tournament and will host #7 Curry on Tuesday (6 p.m.).

The Hawks' four seniors, Hannah Pirez (Bolton, Mass.), Mary O'Donnell, Paige Congdon (Westwood, Mass.), and Ryan Weekes (Worcester, Mass.), were all honored before the game for their senior day.

Kaitlyn Bovee (Berlin, Conn.) scored the first basket of the game for RWU, coming down the court for a three-pointer. Salve Regina would tie the game at eight on a shot by Marissa Pendergast (Medfield, Mass.) later in the half, and then take their only lead (15-13) of the game on a layup by Lindsay Shorey (Ashland, Mass.) with 9:07 to play in the half. The Hawks would then close the period on 16-7 run to take a 29-22 lead into the second half.

In the second half, Salve Regina continued to threaten the Hawks' lead, eventually tying the game at 33 apiece with 14:26 to play. Yet the Hawks refused to let the Seahawks overtake them again. Pirez had a major role over a three-minute late in the game, scoring six straight points for RWU to build the Hawks lead to ten 48-38, with 6:56 to play.

The Seahawks still continued to claw back, pulling to within six with a minute to play (53-59). Yet timely free throw shooting for the Hawks stunted Salve Regina's comeback bid, with RWU going 8-of-10 from the line in the final minute to secure the victory.

Bovee led the Hawks with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Alexandria Lanieri (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) finished with 15 points and ten rebounds off the bench. Pirez finished with 14 points, while Congdon added two points and three boards. O'Donnell contributed two points and two blocks.

Kaitlyn Birrell (Hope, R.I.) had a game-high 22 points along with five rebounds. Shorey added 19 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals; she surpasses Megan Barry '07 as the school's all-time leading shot-blocker. Pendergast chipped in with ten points and three steals.