The Newbury College women's basketball team defeated Bay Path College, 79-58, in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action on a snowy Saturday afternoon. For the second straight game, senior guard Shayla White (Dorchester, Mass.) was the game's leading scorer, paving the way to victory dropping a game-high 19 points on the Wildcats.
After freshman Je'Quana Orr (East Hartford, Conn.) opened the contest knocking down a trey from the top of the key, senior guard Kendra Bannister (Washington, D.C. ) woke up the offense. Following a diving defense play in front of her own bench, the Nighthawks rattled off 21 unanswered points. But the Wildcats were resilient.
Sophomore Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, Mass.) was the sparkplug Bay Path needed in the waning minutes of the first half. Leading the Wildcats with a half-high, nine points, Skiffington cut a once 18 point deficit down to a manageable 12 points before the break.
When the teams emerged from the locker room, Newbury turned it up a notch. Senior guard Morganna Machado (Attleboro, Mass.) atoned for a rough first half and opened the second half, knocking down a mid-range jumper that sent her on an offensive tear. Finishing the game with 12 points, the Attleboro native made a conscience effort to find her open teammates, coming within one assist of a career single game-high, dishing out six.
Registering her 12th double-double of the season, junior center Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, Mass.) dominated the inside as the Nighthawks outscored the Wildcats in the paint, 36-18. In addition to ripping down a game-high 17 rebounds, O'Connell knocked down 16 points in the victory.
However, Bannister was the catalyst to the offense, coming within three rebounds and assists of a triple-double. Notching 11 points while ripping down seven rebounds, the Washington, D.C. native tied a career single game-high, which she set earlier this season in a 55-52 win against Cedar Crest (1/1/12), dishing out a game-high seven assists.
Despite the loss, Orr led three Wildcats in double figures with 16 points while Skiffington followed up with 15 while ripping down seven boards. Junior center Nicole Delano (Enfield, Conn.) rounded out the trio in double digits tallying 12 on the afternoon
Newbury improves to 9-7 and 7-2 in conference action with the victory while Bay Path falls to 2-10 and 2-6 in the NECC. The Nighthawks return to action on Tuesday January 24th when they travel up Route 3 to Nashua, N.H. for a 5:30 p.m. tilt against Daniel Webster College.
All five starters registered double figures: Shayla White (19), Catherine O'Connell (16), Katie Haney (13), Morganna Machado (12) and Kendra Bannister (11).