Shorey, Seahawks deny Colonels, 54-32
NEWPORT, R.I. – Junior Kaitlyn Birrell (Hope, R.I.) scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, while senior Lindsay Shorey (Ashland, Mass.) set a program record with 14 blocks as the second-seeded Salve Regina University women's basketball team defeated the seventh seed Curry College, 54-32, during the quarterfinal round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship (CCC) tournament on Tuesday night at the Rodgers Recreation Center. With the win, the Seahawks improve to 17-9 on the season, advancing to the CCC semifinals to host third seed Western New England University (14-12) on Thursday (8 p.m.) at the Rodgers Recreation Center.
Birrell, the CCC Defensive Player of the Year, added seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals to her game-high 17 points, while All-CCC First Team forward Marissa Pendergast (Medfield, Mass.) recorded her fifth double-double of the season, scoring 12 points while leading all players with 14 boards and seven steals. Shorey added six and three steals to go along with her 14 blocks, while junior Sarah Averill (Newfields, N.H.) chipped-in 11 points, including a game-high three 3-pointers.
The Colonels were paced by freshman Kylie Beltz (Pequot Lakes, Minn.) who scored a team-high 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor. Junior Hailey Rafferty (Worcester, Mass.) grabbed a team-best nine rebounds, while sophomore Katie King (Dorchester, Mass.) led the Colonels with six steals in the loss.
The first half was highlighted by outstanding defensive play from both teams. The Colonels compiled 10 steals in the opening frame, while the Seahawks amassed 11 blocked shots and seven steals. The two teams held each other under 26% shooting for the half, with the Seahawks building a slight 22-19 edge at the intermission.
All-CCC Second Team selection Lindsay Shorey led the charge for the Seahawks at the defensive end, compiling 10 of her program record 14 blocks in the first half alone.
After the Colonels scored the first basket of the game on a jumper by junior Carolyn Houston (Melrose, N.Y.), the Seahawks went on a 9-1 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Pendergast to take a six point lead, 9-3.
The Colonels battled back to close the gap to 15-13 with under five minutes remaining in the period, only to see the Seahawks receive a pair of free throws from Pendergast and 3-pointer from sophomore Lisa Bucci (Irvington, N.Y.) to open up their largest lead of the frame, 20-13.
Curry closed the half scoring six of the final eight points of the period to send the two teams into the break with the Seahawks leading, 22-19.
Salve Regina's offense came alive in the second half, beginning the frame with a 13-3 run, including five points from Birrell to build a 35-22 advantage.
After freshman Kylie Beltz (Peqout Lakes, Minn.) drained a trey to bring Curry back within 10 at the 14:25 mark, the Seahawks effectively put the game away by erupting for 17 unanswered points, holding the Colonels scoreless for over 10 minutes of action before coasting to a 54-32 win.
Salve Regina will host a CCC Championship double-header on Thursday, with the men hosting Nichols at 6 p.m., and the women welcoming Western New England at 8 p.m.