BOSTON - Nighthawks junior Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) scored a season-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season, leading the Newbury Nighthawks to a 62-53 victory over the Wheelock Wildcats on Tuesday evening in New England Collegiate Conference play.
Nighthawks freshman Jaymesha Sanders (West Haven, Conn.) continued her impressive start to the season, scoring 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Senior Destiny Spears (Arnold, Md.) and junior Taylor Kelley (North Billerica, Mass.) both added 10 points.
Wildcats senior Emma Siver (Colchester, Conn.) scored a team-high 19 points, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Freshman Alivia Damper (Reston, Mass.) added 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
It was a back and forth in the first quarter as neither side managed to lead by more than two. The first quarter ended tied at 13-13; Spears scored six points in the opening 10 minutes.
In the second, the Nighthawks offense took control by starting the quarter on an 8-0 run spanning 4:48. Olsen and Sanders scored six of the eight points in the run. Siver ended the run with a three-pointer but the Nighthawks responded with an 8-1 run to take their largest lead of the game, 31-17. The Nighthawks led by 11 at the break, 33-22.
Wheelock would respond coming out of the locker room, outscoring the Nighthawks 7-1 in the middle of the quarter to pull within seven. The Nighthawks would stretch the lead back to 10, but the final six points of the quarter went to the Wildcats in a 1:37 span as the Wildcats trailed 43-39 after three.
In the final quarter, a Siver three in the opening minutes would get the Wildcats within one but an Olsen three-pointer put the Nighthawks ahead by four once again and from that point, the Wildcats wouldn't get closer. A 10-2 run would extend the lead further on the way to a Nighthawks 62-53 win.
"It's always nice to get a road conference win, especially going into our winter break," said Head Coach Marc Taney. "The women continue to play together and work hard when adversity arises on the court. We are excited to see how they strengthen their bonds together and what the remainder of the season has in store."
The victory moves the Nighthawks to 5-4 (3-1 NECC) while the Wildcats drop to 2-5 (2-1 NECC).
The Nighthawks get over two weeks off before returning to the court on Dec. 29 for the Western Conn. State University Hat City Tournament.