BABSON PARK, Mass.--Sophomore Nicole Hiller (Rocky Hill, Conn.) led five players in double figures with 16 points and Babson College shot a blistering 57.4 percent on its way to defeating visiting Salve Regina University, 99-58, in the opening round of the Judy Pearson '85 Memorial Tournament on Sunday afternoon inside Staake Gymnasium.
With its sixth consecutive win, Babson improves to 8-2, while Salve Regina drops to 3-8 on the year.
Senior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) finished with 15 points and nine rebounds and classmate Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) scored a season-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Beavers. Junior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) recorded her third straight double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, while senior Bianca Tomassini (North Branford, Conn.) added 14 points, three assists and three steals in the win.
Junior Tori Scorpio (Cranston, R.I.) finished with 14 points and sophomore Mary Rorke (Norton, Mass.) chipped in with 13 points to lead the Seahawks.
Ouimette and Hiller both scored six first quarter points and Spellacy added four over the final 2:21 of the opening frame to push Babson's advantage to 22-12 at the end of one. Bonifacic, sophomore Katie Jones (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Ouimette scored on three possessions to open the second period, and Bonifacic followed up a three-pointer by Tomassini to extend the margin to 33-14 at the 7:30 mark.
The Green and White, which scored 23 first half points off of turnovers, closed out the quarter with a 19-8 run to build a 26-point lead at the break. Hiller buried another triple, Ouimette followed with five straight points and both Spellacy and Bonifacic chipped in with four points apiece late in the frame to make it 52-26 at halftime.
Spellacy scored five points as the Beavers opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run, Bonifacic contributed six and Hiller and Tomassini added five apiece to help the hosts push the margin to 77-48 going to the fourth. Babson shot 60 percent over the final 10 minutes and took its biggest lead of the game on a bucket by sophomore Shaye Galletta (Riverside, Conn.) with 1:10 to play.
In addition to its 41-19 edge on the glass, the Green and White outscored Salve Regina 62-26 in the paint and turned 24 Seahawk turnovers into 33 points.
Both teams return to action on Monday as Babson will face either St. Lawrence or UMass Dartmouth in the 2 p.m. championship game, while Salve Regina will play in the 12 p.m. consolation game.