Newton, MA- Newbury College took home their first victory of the season Tuesday night against the Lasers of Lasell College. The Nighthawks took an early lead in the initial six minutes of the game, with an 11-3 run. Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, MA/North Quincy) produced five of those points for the visitors. With 11:19 left in the first half the Lasers mounted a comeback and over the next two minutes came back from a ten point deficit to trail by only three at 19-16 after a Justine Ryan (Norwood, MA/Norwood) jumper. Only seconds later though, at 9:12 Kendra Bannister (Washington, D.C./ Brooke Point) sunk a bucket from behind the arc to bring the spread up to six.
Throughout the final minutes of the half Lasell and Newbury exchanged baskets but the Lasers were unable to get closer than five. Then with 1:24 remaining JoAnna Bishop (South Burlington, VT) dropped in a layup to bring the score to 37-33. Less than a minute later Bishop closed the gap a little more making one of her two foul shots but the Nighthawks were able to hold on to a lead of 39-34 at the half.
Nephie Marsh (Brockton, MA/Brockton) was the leading scorer in the first half with twelve total points, connecting on five of her six shots from the field. Danielle Autencio (Montville, CT) led the Lasers with nine points in the first half while Kayla Vincelette (Westport, MA/Westport) and Ryan each tallied eight apiece. Newbury shot 57.1% from the field compared to Lasell's 35.5%.
The Lasers came out early in the second half with an impressive 8-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 17:52 on a Vincelette jump shot in which she was fouled and made her free throw. Twenty seconds later Autencio made a jumper to put the Lasers up by four.
The home team maintained their lead throughout the next ten minutes only being threatened at the eight minute mark when Katie Hanley (Winchendon, MA/Montachusett Regional) made a free throw to bring the visitors to within one at 60-59. An Ashley Fry (South Kingston, RI/South Kingston) jumper opened up the spread once more but at 6:33 O'Connell hit a layup that brought the score to 62-all. Thirty seconds later Shayla White (Dorchester, MA/Wellesley) made a jump shot that gave the Nighthawks their first lead since the 17:52 mark. With 4:31 remaining, Autencio sunk a jumper to tie the game back up at 66-66. Newbury immediately retaliated with a Morganna Machado trey.
After a series of O'Connell jump shots the Lasers found themselves down 73-66 at the two minute mark. The Lasers were unable to recover and ultimately went down by fourteen after a group of Nighthawk free throws with a final score of 86-72.
O'Connell walked away with an impressive double double performance recording 20 points and 13 rebounds. Marsh added 18 points for the Nighthawks and White contributed 14 points and eight rebounds. Lasell was lead by Fry who notched 18 points for the Lasers while Autencio and Vincelette added 17 points each.
The Nighthawks continue their three game road trip at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 6th, at Lesley University in NECC conference action. Lasell falls to 0-6 on the season and will host Framingham State University this Saturday, December 3rd. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 p.m.
-game story by Olivia Coiro