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Nerney leads Nichols over Salve Regina

Mary Rorke drives to the basket in first-half action against Nichols. (Photo by Rob McGuinness)
Mary Rorke drives to the basket in first-half action against Nichols. (Photo by Rob McGuinness)

SEAHAWK WOMEN'S BASKETBALL RESULTS
Nichols 72, Salve Regina 63
Rodgers Rec. Ctr. - Newport, R.I.
Saturday, January 26, 2019

Summary
NEWPORT, R.I. - Nichols College sophomore Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.) netted a career-high 31 points to lead the Bison over Salve Regina University women's basketball, 72-63, in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Rodgers Recreation Center. The Bison (4-16, 2-9 CCC) have won both meetings with the Seahawks (9-11, 5-6 CCC). Three of the first four field goals made by the Seahawks were 3-pointers - two by Mary Rorke (Norton, Mass.) and one by Torie Scorpio (Cranston, R.I.) - but they finished the game with just six made in contrast to nine for the Bison (seven from Nerney).

Series and Streaks
Salve Regina leads the all-time series, 38-11, but Nichols swept the season series including the previous meeting, 51-50, on Nov. 28 in Dudley, to snap a 17-game losing skid against the Seahawks. Current Bison head coach MaryLynn Skarzenski, who swept the league's major awards her senior season in 2008-09, led Nichols to its last triumph in the Rodgers Recreation Center on January 21, 2009. Nichols' only two CCC victories this season thus far have come against Salve Regina.

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Nichols sophomore Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.) came off the bench to spark the Bison to victory with 31 points on 9-of-17 from the floor (7-of-14 behind the arc) and 6-for-6 free throws.
  2. Salve Regina senior Kerri Beland (Attleboro, Mass.) recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
  3. Salve Regina sophomore Mary Rorke (Norton, Mass.) made five of 11 shots including four 3-pointers for a team-high 17 points.

Key Stat of the Game
Nichols had a 16:8 assist-to-turnover ratio and the Bison made four more field goals (24-20) and three more 3-pointers (9-6) than Salve Regina.

Turning Point
The Seahawks trailed by 14 (46-32) with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter before an 18-7 run on eight layups and two free throws narrowed the gap to three (53-50 at 6:19 left in the fourth). Beland had four of her six baskets during the run. However, Rebecca Cleary (Milford, Mass.) started a 9-2 run with a layup and Nerney added two 3-pointers to push the advantage to double digits (62-52 with 2:14 left). Nichols finished with 10 free throws in the final two minutes. Salve Regina's last basket was a 3-pointer from Rorke at 1:47.

Quick Hits

  • Cleary and Shannon St. Lawrence (Milton, N.H.) led all players with 12 rebounds apiece.
  • Beland was high rebounder (10) for the Seahawks.
  • Mekaela Fithian-Giantonio (Plainville, Conn.) added 13 points for the Bison.
  • Torie Scorpio also scored in double figures for the Seahawks with 15 points including five-for-five from the free-throw line.
  • Paced by Nerney, the Bison bench outscored the Seahawks, 31-5.
  • Salve Regina had the advantage in the paint, scoring 26 points while Nichols had 18 from close range.
  • The Seahawks won the battle of the boards, 46-42.
  • Fithian-Giantonio had a game-high seven assists.
  • The Seahawks still have a three-game lead over the Bison (5-6 vs. 2-9) but Nichols now owns the tiebreaker edge.

Next Up
Salve Regina (9-11, 5-6 CCC) continues its four-game homestand when it hosts Endicott College on Wed., January 30 (5:30 p.m.). Nichols (4-16, 2-9 CCC) returns to Dudley for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off with Western New England University on Wednesday.