New Leader in the Clubhouse

Photo by: Samantha Yanofsky
Photo by: Samantha Yanofsky

Leicester, Mass.- Junior center Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, Mass.) climbed to the top of the mountain as Newbury College's All-Time Leader in rebounds in the Nighthawks, 69-61 victory over the Becker College Hawks in game one of the women's-basketball double-header.

O'Connell leap-frogged over Taraja Laws ripping down her 819th career rebound just minutes into the first half to set a new Nighthawks record. She finished the game recording a game-high 18 boards for her fifth consecutive double-double, as the North Shore native was one of three to tally 13 points in Newbury's third straight victory.

The two teams went back and forth in a seesaw battle in the first half. Newbury took the largest lead of the first half with 5:15 remaining when sophomore forward Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.) put back her own missed shot, making the score 25-19. The Hawks came soaring back with a 12-2 run to finish the half, taking a 33-29 lead into the break.

Haney and Becker sophomore Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, Mass.) carried their respective teams with ten points each in the first half.

With Becker holding a six point lead early in the second half, the Nighthawks went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Katie Haney layup, putting Newbury in front 36-35. After the two teams exchanged the lead six times in the first ten minutes of the half, Newbury got back to back three pointers by senior guards Kendra Bannister (Washington, D.C.) and Morganna Machado (Attleboro, Mass.) giving the Nighthawks a 52-47 advantage.  Newbury used a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach, giving the Nighthawks the 69-61 win.

Bannister was lights out in the contest on both ends of the court. Offensively, she tied O'Connell and Machado netting 13 points while pulling down 14 boards on the other end of the floor for her first double-double of the season. Haney came within two rebounds of her second straight double-double, rounding out the foursome in double figures with 12 points.

The Nighthawks head into the winter break 2-0 in  New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action for the first time since the start of the conference in 2008 and improve to 3-4 overall while the Hawks drop to 0-2 and 0-8 overall. Newbury returns to the court on New Year's Eve when they will face a tough University of Dallas squad at the Key Largo Tournament in Key Largo, Fla.

- Game story provided by: Matt Tittle, Sports Information Director - Becker College