HOLYOKE, Mass. - The Nighthawks trio of Destiny Spears (Arnold, Md.), Jaymesha Sanders (West Haven, Conn.), and Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) combined for 64 of the Nighthawks 88 points, as the Nighthawks claim their first New England Collegiate Conference Regular Season Conference Championship in their 88-38 win over Bay Path on Saturday afternoon.
Along with her 22 points, Spears grabbed 18 rebounds and in the process became the second player in program history to grab 1,000 career rebounds.
Spears and Sanders scored 22 points each with Spears shooting 10-for-19 and Sanders shooting 10-for-15. Olsen added her 20 on 8-of-11 shooting in 37 minutes. Junior Kristen Conners (Wilmington, Mass.) scored 10 points off the bench.
Wildcats freshman Emmeline Bronson (Shelton, Conn.) scored a team-high 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting. Senior Kaylee Herring (Worcester, Vt.) and junior Joanne Nazario (Springfield, Mass.) scored nine and eight points, respectively.
The Nighthawks have been strong finishing off quarters lately, ending the first on an 11-2 run to lead 20-8 after the opening quarter. Sanders and Bronson each scored six points.
A 9-0 run in the opening 5:05 the second quarter would expand the Nighthawks lead to 29-8. Olsen scored eight in the quarter for the Nighthawks, who led 39-17.
In the third quarter, the Nighthawks shot 10-for-18 from the field, outscoring the Wildcats 24-9 in the quarter. The Nighthawks were even better in the fourth, shooting 11-of-16, scoring 25 points in the final quarter to close out the game.
The win moves the Nighthawks to 17-8 (14-2 NECC). The overall win total is the most since 1999-2000 when the Nighthawks finished 20-4 while the 14-2 NECC record is the best conference record in program history.
By claiming the NECC Regular Season Title, the Nighthawks have been named the top-seed in the NECC Tournament and have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The top-two seeds receive a bye into the semifinal round. The Nighthawks will face the winner of the No. 5 Wheelock Wildcats at No. 4 Elms Blazers game on Tuesday evening. The semifinal game will be held Thursday at 7:00 p.m.