NEWPORT, R.I. (November 30, 2016) – The Western New England University women's basketball team held off a fourth quarter rally by Salve Regina University to earn a 57-52 victory this evening in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opener for both teams at Rodgers Recreation Center.
The Golden Bears never trailed in the contest, and held their largest lead of 15 (21-6) late in the first quarter. Salve Regina was able to pull to within three (55-52) in the final minute of the game, but Western New England made several key plays down the stretch to seal the win.
• Senior guard Sammie Battaini (Leominster, Mass.) broke out for a game and season-high 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from three point range, while sinking both of her free throw attempts. Battaini also recorded three rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes of action.
• Senior forward Emily Anderson (Rocky Hill, Conn.) posted her fourth double-figure scoring effort in five games this season with 14 points to go with five rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist.
• Senior guard Sammie Olson (Tolland, Conn.) added 11 points, while senior forward Paige Young (Berlin, Conn.) finished with seven points, 11 rebounds (four offensive), five assists, one steal and one block.
• Junior Mary Eden (South Kingstown, R.I.) and freshman Torie Scorpio (Cranston, R.I.) led Salve Regina with 16 points each.
• Sophomore Kerri Beland (Attleboro, Mass.) was one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points, nine boards, four assists and two steals.
• Western New England used a 13-0 run in the first quarter to turn an 8-6 edge into a 21-6 advantage. Battaini sparked the run with a jumper and capped it with a three-pointer five minutes later.
• The Seahawks answered with a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to six (21-15) early in the second quarter.
• Later in the quarter, Battaini scored five straight points for the Golden Bears, who pushed their lead back to ten (32-22) with 3:06 remaining in the half. Western New England held a 36-28 advantage at the break.
• Scorpio scored all seven of Salve Regina's points in the third quarter as the Seahawks trailed 45-35 heading into the final period.
• Western New England maintained at least a five-point advantage until Scorpio knocked down a jumper to cut it to four (53-49) with 2:10 remaining. Beland completed a traditional three-point play with 50 seconds on the clock to pull the Seahawks to within three, but they would get no closer.
• Olson grabbed a key offensive rebound with 20 seconds remaining and Young knocked down 1-of-2 free throws five seconds later to make it a two-possession game (56-52). Battaini drew a charge on Salve's ensuing offensive possession, and junior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) added a late free throw to extend the final margin to five.
• Western New England shot 32.8% (19-of-58) from the field, 35% (7-of-20) from beyond the arc, and 60% (12-of-20) from the free throw line. Salve Regina posted a similar 32.1% clip (18-of-56) from the field, while the Seahawks shot 25% (4-of-16) from three-point distance and 85.7% (12-of-14) from the charity stripe.
• Young's four offensive rebounds match her season-high, which she set in the season opener against Springfield.
• Battaini's 17 points are her most since scoring 19 in a 72-50 win at Curry on January 31, 2015.
• The Golden Bears have won three of their last four games since opening the season with a 83-75, double-overtime loss to Springfield on November 15.
Western New England (3-2, 1-0 CCC) returns home to host Gordon on Saturday, while Salve Regina (1-4, 0-1 CCC) travels to the University of New England.