Olsen Leads Nighthawks to USJ Tournament Championship; Named MVP

Olsen Leads Nighthawks to USJ Tournament Championship; Named MVP

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The Newbury College women's basketball team held on to defeat the University of Saint Joseph in the USJ Tip-Off Tournament 60-54 in the O'Connell Center Saturday night.  The Nighthawks were powered by Tournament MVP junior Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) and her 20-point, 14-rebound effort.

Newbury held the Bluejays to single digits in scoring for each quarter through the first three sessions and entered the fourth stanza with a 48-26 advantage.  The Nighthawks led by as many as 22 points with 27 seconds left in the third quarter.  Newbury held the Bluejays to 17.4% shooting from long range.

St. Joseph would explode for 28 points in the fourth quarter aided by 45.5% shooting from the field and the efforts of senior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) who scored nine points in the quarter.  Entering the fourth quarter, Mayo was held to four points.

Rebounding proved to be a major key in the Newbury win by holding a 51-38 advantage.  Olsen and freshman Jaymesha Sanders (West Haven, Conn.) accounted for 24 caroms.  Sanders added her second double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Three Nighthawks registered double figures in scoring.  Senior Destiny Spears (Arnold, Md.) chipped in 13 points to join Sanders and Olsen for the victors.

Olsen, Spears and Sanders were named to the USJ Tip-Off all-tournament team.  Olsen was tabbed the Most Valuable Player after posting 39 points and 21 rebounds for the weekend.

"It was a great weekend for the program," said second-year head coach Marc Taney.  "To travel to Connecticut and come home with two non-conference wins and a championship speaks to how hard the team has been working.  We need to continue to grind and take the season one step at a time to get to our goal."

The Nighthawks (2-1) are next in action on Tuesday, Novmeber 21 at 5pm at Pappas Gymnasium when they battle New England College.