Women’s Basketball Clinches Playoff Berth with Win over Salve

Women’s Basketball Clinches Playoff Berth with Win over Salve

MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College women's basketball team defeated the Seahawks of Salve Regina in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) nail-biter on Wednesday evening. With the 62-59 victory, the Colonels improve to 6-18 on the year with a 4-11 mark in the conference, clinching a spot in the upcoming CCC tournament. The Seahawks move to 3-21 overall with a league mark of 3-12. Their playoff hopes rest on the outcomes of the conference's final regular season games this Saturday.

The teams traded baskets as the game tipped off, but back-to-back threes by freshman Kathryn Dunn (Hanson, Mass.) gave the hosts their first two-possession lead of the day at 10-4. Salve responded, quickly cutting the lead to 10-6, but the Colonels kept pushing forward, leading by no less by three throughout the remainder of the quarter. Despite the Seahawks scoring the quarter's final five points, Curry took a 20-15 advantage into the first break.

After seeing what once was a 10-point lead cut in half, the Colonels' defense came out strong in the second. Over the period's first five minutes, Curry forced a pair of turnovers and did not allow their guests to score, all the while adding to their lead, which soon sat at 28-15. As the quarter progressed, each time Salve scored, the hosts had an answer, with the only exception coming in the form of a half-court buzzer-beater out of the hands of Torie Scorpio (Cranston, R.I.), which cut the Colonels' halftime lead to 10 at 35-25.

The Seahawks gave the home fans a scare out of the intermission, notching five points and a steal within just the first minute of the third quarter. Both offenses went quiet, though, as the next three minutes saw the teams combine to go 0-for-11 from the floor, before a layup by Kristyanna Remillard (Abington, Mass.) ended the drought and made the score 37-30. The Colonels worked to retain their three-possession lead, bringing the score to 46-38 as the teams entered the final frame.

40 seconds into the stanza, a jumper by Kirsten Smith (East Bridgewater, Mass.) extended the Colonel lead once again to 10 at 48-38, but an 11-point scoring run by Salve gave them their first lead of the contest. Remillard broke the streak by regaining the lead in favor of the Colonels at 50-49, but the teams remained close. With 5:21 remaining in regulation, Morgan Shuey (Corning, Iowa) gave the lead back to the visitors by a point, but once again, the Colonels struck back, as Dunn converted a pair of free throws. With under four minutes to play, the teams went back-and-forth once more, but a clutch triple by Kaitlynn Smith (Hull, Mass.), off a solid Dunn helper, put Curry up by four with roughly two-and-a-half minutes left on the clock. Coming out of a Salve timeout, Curry's defense remained stout, but lacked offensive production, as a layup by Lauryn Becker (Hanover, Mass.) brought the Seahawks back to within a basket at 57-55 with 51 seconds remaining. Following a pair of Kir. Smith free throws and a hard Salve foul, Scorpio struck again for the visitors, bringing the score to 59-57. However, Curry stayed reliable from the charity stripe and soon brought the lead back to four at 61-57. Over the next ten seconds of play, another Scorpio layup and a free throw miss by the hosts gave Salve the ball trailing by just three with 12 seconds to play. Following a Seahawk timeout, Scorpio's attempt at a three-pointer came up short, but the visitors retained possession thanks to a jump ball. After the hosts burned their final timeout with seven seconds on the clock, the Seahawks put up another triple attempt, but after it too missed its mark, the final buzzer sounded, locking up a Colonel win. In this their second straight win, Curry departed victorious by a score of 62-59.

Scorpio topped all players with 21 points, while sharing the team-lead in assists with Megan Henaghan (Whitman, Mass.), as they each registered three helpers. Henaghan tied for the game-high in rebounds with 15, sharing the honor with the Colonels' Gina Coote (Dedham, Mass.). Kir. Smith topped the team in assists, also with three, while Dunn drove the offense with 20 points, one of four Curry starters to reach double-digits.

The Colonels will look to cap their season with their fifth conference win of the year on Saturday, as they wait to find out their first round opponent in the CCC tournament. Curry closes the year with a road tilt against Endicott on Saturday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. Curry will look to spoil the Gulls' Senior Day as they seek revenge for a January 15 loss to Endicott which ended with a final score of 74-41.

Salve Regina looks to keep their playoff hopes alive on their own Senior Day as they host the Wentworth Institute of Technology, also on Saturday at 1 o'clock. In the teams' first meeting on January 9, the Seahawks came away victorious with a tight 63-59 score.

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