BROOKLINE, Mass. - The Newbury College women's basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak Thursday evening, defeating Mitchell College, 79-59, in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action.
Newbury's Catherine O'Connell recorded her 1,000th career rebound less than a minute into the second half. She finished with her 13th double-double of the season, tallying 13 points and 18 boards.
Senior Bianca Young led the Mariners with 19 points and 11 rebounds to post her sixth double-double of the season. Freshman Sheanna James and junior Kaylee Cerruto also scored in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively. James also added nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals on the night.
It took only seconds for the Nighthawks to jump on the scoreboard. After winning the opening tip, Kendra Bannister found Morganna Machado wide open at the perimeter for a quick trey four seconds into the contest. Moments later O'Connell increased the lead to five with a put-back lay-up before Mitchell's Hannah Smith put the Mariners on the board by knocking down long-range jumper.
But the Nighthawk offense was kindling. In the first half alone, Bannister was red-hot from beyond the arc, shooting 50 percent as she lit up the Mariners with a half-high 15 points.
O'Connell entered the contest 10 rebounds shy of the elusive 1,000-rebound milestone. After grabbing three quick rebounds to start the contest, it appeared as if she was going to hit the milestone in no time. As the Nighthawks went into the locker room with a commanding 45-28 lead at halftime, O'Connell was locked at 999.
When the teams emerged from the locker room at the start of the second, O'Connell wasted little time reaching the mark. She snatched an offensive board away from the waiting hands of defenders for rebound number 1,000 before putting it back up for an easy lay-up.
Mitchell cut the deficity to 17 behind a pair of Cora Harris free throws, but they were unable to cool the stifling Nighthawk offense. A minute later Machado converted on a fast break, sparked by a steal from Katie Haney. Moments later, Shayla White followed suit, making a swipe and taking it back for an easy lay-up.
Bannister stayed hot in the second half and finished with a career-high 23 points. O'Connell and Machado followed up with 13 points of their own while White rounded out the foursome in double figures with 10.
The win improved the Nighthawks to 8-4 in the conference and 10-9 overall while the Mariners fell to 4-8 in the NECC and 5-13 overall.
Mitchell will next play at Daniel Webster College on Saturday, February 4 at 3 p.m.