WESTON, Mass. – Backed by junior guard Emilee Marro's (Bedford, N.H.) game-high 18 points and junior guard Janaya Bradley's (New Haven, Conn.) 15 point performance, the Regis College women's basketball team defeated Elms College, 66-60 in what was a rematch of last year's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) title game.
The Pride, who move into sole possession of first place in the conference with the win, improve to 8-4 overall, 5-0 NECC after coming out on top of a game that was tied on eight separate occasions and had 16 lead changes. The Blazers fall to 5-7 on the year and 4-1 in league play.
The Pride jumped out to an early lead in the first half courtesy of Marro, who hit three consecutive layups to give the host team a 14-9 edge. Elms would go on a quick 8-3 run over the next few minutes, however, to tie the game at 17 apiece. Junior JC Pickett (Chicopee, Mass.) hit a layup seconds later to give the Blazers their first lead at the 7:19 mark.
Both teams continued to trade baskets and were tied at 28-28 with 1:14 remaining. Sophomore Michaela Maguire (Revere, Mass.) and junior Claire Ramonas (Portland, Maine) hit back-to-back baskets to give the Pride a slim, 32-31 lead at the break. Marro, along with freshman Amanda Hawkesworth (Abington, Mass.) and sophomore guard Alyssa Vieira-Lanpher (Princeton, Mass.), would finish with eight points each in the opening half to lead Regis.
The Blazers came out of halftime on fire, going on a 9-0 run led by Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) and Pickett, to take a 40-32 lead by the 14:29 mark. The Pride were limited to just four points through the first 9:47 and shot 11-for-33 (33.3%) in the second half.
Luckily for the Crimson & Gold, Bradley would go on to hit 13 of her points in the last nine minutes, including a huge three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining in the game, to give the Pride a 62-58 lead. Solid free-throw shooting from Marro would help Regis close out the contest with the win.
Marro and Bradley combined for eight rebounds and six assists, while Vieira-Lanpher finished with one assist, two steals, one block, and a career-high 11 points. Hawkesworth grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go along with ten points.
Parks finished with 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Elms, while Pickett completed a double-double with 13 boards and ten points. Junior forward Gianna Youngblood (E. Freetown, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Both teams return to action this Saturday for a pair of NECC games. The Pride will travel to take on Newbury at 12 p.m. while the Blazers will play at Lesley at 2 p.m.