Slow Start Plagues Women's Basketball in Loss at Nichols

Slow Start Plagues Women's Basketball in Loss at Nichols

DUDLEY, Mass. – Sophomre Allison Cerrato (Rockland, Mass.) scored 13 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds to help pace the Nichols College women's basketball team to a 52-35 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in Commonwealth Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.

With the win the Bison snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 3-14 (2-8 CCC) while the leopards see their two-game win streak snapped, falling to 6-11 (2-8).

Nichols outscored Wentworth 23-4 in the opening quarter as the Leopards missed all 16 field goals they attempted while the Bison shot 60 percent from the floor. A 12-0 run pushed the hosts' lead from four to 16 midway through the frame.

The Leopards' shooting drought was extended to 18 before sophomore Haley Sabino (Topsfield, Mass.) knocked down a jumper with 7:20 left. Sabino's basket ignited the Wentworth offense, which would outscore Nichols 16-4 over the remainder of the half and bring the Leopards within four at the break.

Six straight Bison points to open the third quarter pushed the lead to 10 and Nichols led by as many as 12 when freshman Mekaela Fithian-Giantonio (Plainville, Conn.) hit a jumper with 4:17 left in the quarter. A free throw by senior Carly Rogers (Scarborough, Maine) and layup by Sabino made it a 41-32 game with 3:27 left and one of two free throws from Giantonio with five seconds left would give Nichols a 42-32 lead after three quarters.

Wentworth was limited to just three points in the fourth quarter – all on free throws – as the leopards went 0-for-12 from the floor. Senior Rachael Camara (Fall River, Mass.) hit two free throws and Sabino hit one. Sabino's free throw cut the lead to 12, however a jumper and free throw on the next possession by senior Jessica Kelliher (Marshfield, Mass.) made it a 15-point game.

Giantonio added 11 points and three assists while Kelliher had nine points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Junior Brittany Donovan (Newport, R.I.) had a game-high 13 rebounds. Nichols had a 52-42 rebounding advantage for the game.

Sabino tied Cerrato with a game-high 13 points and would also grab eight rebounds. Rogers had 11 points and nine rebounds and senior Megan McLaughlin (Southington, Conn.) had six points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Both teams continue CCC play Wednesday as Wentworth hosts the University of New England and Nichols is at Endicott.