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Nighthawks battle on boards, win big in opener

Nighthawks battle on boards, win big in opener

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Newbury College used a 10-0 mid-first half run to pull away in a 52-26 victory over Lesley University in both teams' New England Collegiate Conference women's basketball opener Tuesday night.

            Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, MA/North Quincy) tied for game-high honors with 12 points and led all players with 14 rebounds, leading the Nighthawks dominant effort on the boards in which the visitors outrebounded the Lynx 72-36. Katie Haney (Winchendon, MA/Montachusett) chipped in with nine points and 13 rebounds as Newbury (2-4, 1-0) won its second straight.

            Like O'Connell, Lesley's Sarah Apgar (Andover, NJ/Lenape) also connected on 5-13 shooting from the floor for 12 points, adding seven rebounds and playing all 40 minutes. Forward Chelsea Contre (Pomfret, CT/Woodstock) also pulled down seven rebounds to go along with a pair of steals for the Lynx (0-5, 0-1).

            Haney and O'Connell combined for all seven points of Newbury's 7-0 game-opening run, but Lesley stormed back to take an early lead thanks to a run of its own. An Apgar jumper from just inside the three-point line was followed by two straight buckets from beyond the arc by teammate Carrie Fieger (Simsbury, CT/Suffield) during an 8-0 Lynx run that grabbed Lesley a brief lead inside the 14:00 mark.

            Newbury answered immediately, as three straight O'Connell layups capped the visitors' 10-0 run, and a Morganna Machado (Attleboro, MA/Attleboro) three-pointer put the Nighthawks ahead by double-figures for good at 23-10. O'Connell and Haney scored four straight to go into halftime leading 27-12, and Machado and Haney scored five straight out of the break to take a 32-12 lead, ultimately cruising by the count of 52-26.

            Sherrey Smith (Belmont, NH/Belmont) added three points and a career-high four boards for the Lynx.

            For Newbury, Shayla White (Dorchester, MA/Wellesley) capitalized on 26 Lynx turnovers with a game-high seven steals to go along with seven points and six rebounds.

             Lesley plays host to Elms College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, when Newbury travels to Becker, both in league play.