CHICOPEE, Mass. – Junior center Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) dropped a new single game-high, 25 points on Elms College to help the Newbury College women's basketball team outscore the Blazers, 33-29 in the second half. But the Nighthawks second half comeback attempt fell short as Elms handed Newbury their first New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) loss of the season with the 69-61 victory.
Elms was on fire from the floor in the first half, shooting a red-hot 46.9% from the field and holding a double-digit lead for the majority of the half. Newbury freshman Nephie Marsh (Brockton, Mass.) cut the deficit to seven draining a long range three-pointer with under nine minutes to play to pull the Nighthawks to 23-16.
Blazer junior guard Jennifer Normandi (Westford, Mass.) extended the lead back to 11 before the Nighthawks scored six straight points to bring Newbury within five (31-26). However, a 9-2 Elms run plus 10 points from freshman forward Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) and junior guard Jennifer Normandie (Westford, Mass.) gave the Blazers a 40-28 lead going into the locker room.
Elms started the second period on a 7-1 run over the first 3:24 and extended its lead to as many as 21 when Talmadge canned her second trey of the game to give the Blazers a 52-31 advantage.
Marsh, who was phenomenal off the bench for the Nighthawks answered with a trey of her own as the Nighthawks slowly chipped away at Elms' advantage. The Brockton native was one of three players in the contest to finish the game with 20-plus points, draining 21 on the Blazers.
Trailing 67-57 with 1:38 to play, Newbury used a jumper by Marsh and a bucket underneath by O'Connell to pull the Nighthawks to within six at 67-61 with 29 seconds left before Talmadge converted two free throws with 23 ticks on the clock to increase the lead back to eight at 69-61.
From there, Normandie blocked a Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.) field goal attempt as the Blazers held on to knock of Newbury.
Parks added a team-high nine rebounds to her team-best 21 points, while Normandie collected 15 points on 6 of 15 shooting and added eight rebounds. She also contributed two blocks and three steals, while sophomore guard Emily Boucher (Ashburnham, Mass.), Donohue and freshman forward Gianna Youngblood (East Freetown, Mass.) added eight, seven and five points respectively.
Newbury falls to 7-6 with the loss and 5-1 in conference action while Elms improves to 8-5 and 5-1 in the NECC. The Nighthawks return to the hard-court on Tuesday January 17th when they tip-off against the first place Regis College Pride at 5:30 p.m. in Weston, Mass.
Coming off back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in her career, Katie Haney was still a force in the low-post ripping down 14 rebounds in addition to tallying seven points and four steals.
- Story provided by: Chris Attwood, Sports Information Director - Elms College