Haney, Nighthawks Topple Wildcats

Photo by: Samantha Yanofsky
Photo by: Samantha Yanofsky

Entering Tuesday evening's contest against New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) foe Bay Path College in Western Massachusetts, the Newbury College women's basketball team had won five of their last six games. And they showed no signs of stopping pulling out the comeback, 73-65, victory on the road against the Wildcats.

There has been no sophomore slump for second year forward Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.). Before the winter break, Haney registered her first collegiate career double-double against the Lynx on December 6th, notching 11 points while ripping down 13 rebounds and she has continued to shine.

Since the beginning of 2012, Haney has been averaging 11 points per game along with becoming a tremendous post-player for the Nighthawks, pulling down 12 rebounds per game. Against the Wildcats on Tuesday, she surpassed previous career game-highs, which set earlier this season against Lesley, by dropping 20 points in addition to recording 14 boards.

However, the sophomore forward had help from her teammates to dispose of Bay Path and pick up their fourth conference win of the season – the team's best start since the NECC was founded in 2008.

After being outscored in the first half, 32-26, the Nighthawks kicked it into another gear in the second and blew past the Wildcats. Newbury dominated the paint in the second, doubling their first half totals, tallying 32 points while taking advantage of second chance scoring opportunities, outscoring Bay Path, 25-6 in the half and 30-14 in the game overall.

Haney was one of four Nighthawks in double figures – and one of three to record a double-double – as the offense was firing on all cylinders. Junior center Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, Mass.) atoned for just three points in the first half by netting 15 points in the second with Haney pushing her from behind draining 14. A gritty player, who is not afraid to get inside and snatch loose balls from opponents, senior guard Kendra Bannister (Washington, D.C.) equalized her 12 points on offense by ripping down 12 boards against the Wildcats.

Following up an All-Tournament Team selection at the Key Largo Classic, senior guard Shayla White (Dorchester, Mass.) has been averaging double figures since the New Year began and rounded out the Nighthawks last night in double figures tallying 13 points. Classmate, guard Morganna Machado (Attleboro, Mass.) only notched eight points but was the sparkplug from the early going. Connecting with Bannister and White for eight of the first nine points of the contest, Machado tied a career game-high, dishing out seven assists in the contest.

Newbury sits in prestigious company, atop the conference standings, with Regis College and Elms College at 4-0 and are one of only three schools with winning overall records at 6-5. The Nighthawks look to continue the trend when they tip-off against Becker College tomorrow evening at home at 6:00 p.m. In their first meeting of the year, December 10th, the Nighthawks picked up their third win of the season with the 69-61 victory. Machado, Bannister and O'Connell all paved the way tallying 13 points while Haney rounded out the foursome in double figures with 12.

Game Notes:

With a game-high two blocks, senior guard Kendra Bannister has amassed eight blocks through 11 games this season. She is one block shy of tying her career season-high, registering nine as a freshman in 2008-09…For the seventh time in team history, the Nighthawks dished out 18 assists against the Wildcats.