MILTON, Mass. - Junior guard Torie Scorpio (Cranston, R.I.) matched her career-best in 3-pointers made (four) and scored a game-high 26 points but the Salve Regina University women's basketball team fell by six, 76-70, in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Curry College on Thursday night.
The victory improves Curry's overall record to 6-6 overall with a 3-1 conference record. With the loss, Salve Regina stumbles to 4-8 overall while their CCC record falls to 0-3.
The teams traded baskets early, until a jumper by freshman Peyton Perine (Fairfax, Va.) started a 7-0 run for the Colonels. Though the Seahawks would end the scoreless run with a Tara Burke (Londonderry, N.H.) free throw with 6:25 remaining in the quarter, Perine stayed hot, scoring 11 points in the first period alone, before a three-pointer by sophomore Maeve Foley (Wethersfield, Conn.) ended the scoring for the quarter with five seconds remaining to give the Colonels a 23-15 advantage. The hosts would retain a lead throughout the second quarter, but the Seahawks would step on the gas in the latter stages of the frame, which included a 13-2 run to cut the Colonel's lead to three, as the teams headed into the half with a score of 35-32.
The second half would begin much as the first ended, as Salve Regina would put up the first six points of the quarter, taking the lead at 38-35, their first since the initial two minutes of the contest. A scoreless streak by Curry which began in the second quarter continued after the break and extended past five minutes until a three by freshman Amanda Leal (Tyngsboro, Mass.) jumpstarted their scoring for the second half. The teams continued to go back and forth, knotting the score twice, before a layup by senior guard Emily Irwin (Billerica, Mass.) gave the hosts a 43-41 lead. The basket started a 14-1 run for Curry, including seven points from Irwin, as the hosts closed out the frame with a 13 point lead at 55-42.
Irwin kept her motor running and got Curry off to a good start in the fourth quarter with a steal and a three to extend their lead to 58-42, the largest of the day. Salve Regina put forth a courageous comeback effort, receiving 17 fourth quarter points from junior Torie Scorpio (Cranston, R.I.), which included three baskets from beyond the arc. Curry saw their lead fall to six at 64-58 following one of these threes by Scorpio, but Irwin would take back some momentum as she put back her own miss with a good layup. The rebound on the put-back was Irwin's 10th of the day and secured her 18th career double-double and third of the year less than two minutes after a defensive rebound by Perine locked up a double-double of her own, the second of her rookie campaign. Salve would pull to within five with 2:18 left in regulation, but the clock and foul troubles were working against them as the game turned over to free throws. Baskets from the charity stripe by Leal, Foley, and Irwin would secure the victory for Curry as time ran out on the Seahawks' comeback efforts with a final score of 76-70.
The Curry captain, Irwin, led the way for the hosts, post team highs with 25 points, seven assists, and three steals. Joining her in double figures were Leal with 18 points and Perine with 20, hitting the 20 point mark for the fourth time this year. Perine also put up a game high 13 total rebounds, with 12 of them coming on the defensive end. The visitors got an impressive showing from Scorpio who posted a game high 26 points in the defeat. Senior Kerri Beland (Attleboro, Mass.) led the Seahawks with 12 rebounds and four steals, while Scorpio and Mary Rorke (Norton, Mass.) registered four assists each.
Irwin's double-double is an encouraging sign as she continues her charge towards the all-time Curry women's basketball scoring record. After her 25 points in this contest, she sits just 120 shy of the mark of 1,465 points. Irwin should have plenty of time to reach her goal with 13 regular season games remaining, as she has averaged 16.5 points per game this season to this point and 15.3 over her career.
Curry will play again on Tuesday, January 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Roger Williams in CCC action. Salve Regina will resume action at home against CCC opponent Wentworth on Saturday, January 5 at 1 p.m.