WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College women's basketball team captured their third-straight New England Collegiate Conference Championship with a 69-56 victory over Southern Vermont College on Saturday afternoon in Weston, Mass.
The Pride stand at 22-5 overall and have earned the NECC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson and Gold find out their opponent on Monday afternoon when the NCAA Selection Show goes live at 2:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Senior Emilee Marro (Bedford, N.H.) was named the NECC Tournament MVP for the second-straight season and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by classmate Janaya Bradley (New Haven, Conn.). Southern Vermont's Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) and Sarah McDonald (Cohoes, N.Y.) were also named to the All-Tournament Team, with Elms College's Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) and Mitchell College's Jessica Shepherd (West Hartford, Conn.) rounding out the selections.
The Pride jumped out to an early 6-3 advantage following a jumper from Emilee Marro, but Southern Vermont scored four-straight points to take their first lead of the game at 7-6 with 13:19 to play. Back-to-back buckets from Amanda Hawkesworth (Abington, Mass.) put Regis back in front, but a pair of Amber Flagg (Windsor, Conn.) freethrows knotted the game at 10-all.
With the score tied 12-12, three-balls from Janaya Bradley and Alyssa Lanpher (Princeton, Mass.) gave the Pride an 18-12 lead as part of a 12-2 run to put the Pride in front 24-14. Flagg sandwiched deep triples around a Marro layup to cut the deficit to 28-20, but the Pride ended the half scoring six of the final eight points to take a 34-22 lead into the break.
The senior duo of Bradley and Marro combined for 21 points in the period to lead Regis, while Brittany Stone (West Bridgewater, Mass.) grabbed 15 boards. Amber Flagg scored 13 points to lead SVC and Turquoia Johnson (Montgomery Village, Md.) scored five points and grabbed six rebounds.
The Pride pushed their lead to 42-24 as Linsay Bumila (Raynham, Mass.) knocked down a jumper from the baseline. McDonald and Flagg combined on a 6-0 run to pull within 42-30, and another Flagg layup at the 12:52 mark cut the deficit to just 10 at 44-34. Regis built a 54-38 lead with 9:06 to play, but SVC continued to hang around as McDonald went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe to keep it a 10 point game with six minutes remaining.
SVC's Johnson scored inside to make it a 58-50 game with 3:47 remaining in the game. On the next Regis possession, the Pride worked the ball around trying to waste some time, and with the shot clock expiring, Bumila kicked out to Marro for a three that found nothing but the bottom of the net and pushed the Regis lead to 61-50. Johnson answered the next time down for the Mountaineers, and Flagg hit a freethrow to stay within eight.
Regis regained possession and following a miss, Marro kept the possession alive with an offensive rebound. They worked the clock down again, this time Mikayla Murphy (Attleboro, Mass.) drove baseline and dished out to Bradley, who knocked down a three of her own to put Regis in front, 64-53. McDonald would get it back to nine, but the Pride went 4-for-5 at the charity stripe down the stretch to hold on for the 69-56 win.
The Pride won the rebounding battle 43-41, while committing 13 turnovers to 14 for SVC. Regis shot 42.2% (27of-64) in the game, while the Mountaineers hit 21-of-61 shots (34.4%).
Janaya Bradley finished the game with a team-high 20 points and three assists. Marro scored 16 points and added six rebounds and three steals. Amanda Hawkeswroth scored 10 points to go with five rebounds. Brittany Stone grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds and added six points and three blocks. Bumila and Murphy combined for 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench.
Southern Vermont was paced by 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists from Amber Flagg. Sarah McDonald just missed a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds, and added two blocks and two steals. Turquoia Johnson scored nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Mountaineers wrap up the year at 17-11 and await word on a possible ECAC Tournament bid next week.