Nighthawks Record Program-Best NECC Start in 61-45 Win vs. Lesley

Photo Credit: Noelle Sass
Photo Credit: Noelle Sass

BROOKLINE, Mass. - For the first time in Nighthawks program history, the women's basketball program has started 6-1 in the New England Collegiate Conference following their 61-45 victory over the Lesley Lynx on Tuesday evening at Pappas Gymnasium. It's the best start in program history, breaking the 5-1 start of the 2011-12 team.

Nighthawks senior Destiny Spears (Arnold, Md.) led the Nighthawks with 14 points while grabbing 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double this season. Freshman Tatianna Occena (Spring Valley, N.Y.) scored 13 points for her second consecutive game. All five Nighthawks starters finished with at least ten points including junior Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) who scored 12. Junior Taylor Kelley (North Billerica, Mass.) and freshman Jaymesha Sanders (West Haven, Conn.) each scored 10.

Lynx freshman Elizabeth Portante (Littleton, Mass.) led all scorers with 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting in 35 minutes. Senior Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass.) added eight points off the Lynx bench in 29 minutes.

Both teams started slow, making just five field goals in the first quarter. The Nighthawks shot 5-of-16 while the Lynx went 5-for-14 from the field. The Nighthawks held a four-point lead, 14-10, after the opening quarter. Olsen had six points in the opening 10 minutes.

In the second, the Nighthawks defense held the Lynx to six points, but the Nighthawks 5-for-20 from the field only netted them 11 points for a 25-16 halftime lead. 18 of the Nighthawks 25 points in the first half came in the paint.

Coming out of the half is where the Nighthawks extended their lead thanks to an 11-0 run, taking a 22-point lead at the largest point, eventually leading 47-25 after three quarters. Occena finished the quarter with eight points while Spears added six more.

In the fourth, the Lynx comeback was in sight with the help of 10-for-15 shooting from the field. A 6-0 Lynx run cut the deficit to 14 but the Nighthawks would finish strong and hold off the Lesley threat with a 61-45 win.

The victory moves the Nighthawks to 9-7 (6-1 NECC) while the loss drops the Lynx to 2-12 (2-4 NECC)

The two teams continue NECC play later this week as the Nighthawks return for a Thursday tip vs. Bay Path at 5:30 p.m. while the Lynx resume Sunday when they host Mitchell College at 12:00 p.m.