WESTON, Mass. – Regis College stayed with one of the best teams in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference through three quarters, but Albertus Magnus College pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 72-60 victory Saturday afternoon in a GNAC women's basketball contest at Higgins Court.
Nikki Bitinaitis (Cromwell, Conn.) led the team in scoring with 14 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line, plus she pulled down five rebounds and dished out four assists. After being honored in Senior Day ceremonies, Sam D'Angelo (Woburn, Mass.) finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists, Maura Russell (Braintree, Mass.) scored 11 points, and Chayla Louro (Randolph, Mass.) contributed eight points.
Russell hit a three-pointer to start the game, but the Falcons scored seven of the next nine points, led by Shyla Osmond with four points. Louro answered an Osmond three-pointer with one of her own, and then two free throws apiece by Bitinaitis, Arie Searcy (Santa Rosa, Calif.), and D'Angelo gave the Pride an 18-12 lead with 3:57 left in the first quarter.
Albertus Magnus (20-3, 8-2 GNAC) scored seven straight points to pull ahead late in the first quarter, 19-18, but Louro hit another three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give Regis a 21-19 advantage after the opening quarter. However, the Falcons took control in the second quarter, putting together a 17-2 scoring run over the first seven minutes, led by Rah Rah Thompson with seven points and Osmond with six points.
Regis drew closer at the end of the first half with an 8-2 scoring run, and then opened the third quarter with another 8-2 scoring stretch, capped by a jumper from Bitinaitis, to pull within one at 40-39. The Falcons used jumpers by Osmond and Jill Johnson to remain ahead, but a jumper by Taylor Iorfino (Monroe, Conn.) late in the quarter closed the Pride deficit to two at 50-48 after three quarters.
The Falcons put the game away by scoring 11 unanswered points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, with Osmond and Thompson combining for all 11 points. Thompson hit a three-pointer later in the quarter to give Albertus Magnus its biggest lead of the game at 70-54 as the Falcons earned their 20th victory of the season.
Osmond shot 12-of-22 from the field as she led all players with 26 points to go along with four rebounds and three steals, while Thompson notched a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Johnson added 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and four steals. As a team, the Falcons shot 37.7 percent (26-of-69) from the field, including 4-of-15 from behind the three-point line, and 80 percent (16-of-20) from the free throw line.
It was a tale of odd quarters and even quarters for the Regis offense, as the Pride shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field in the first and third quarters, but just 19.4 percent (6-of-31) from the field in the second and fourth quarters. Even though Iorfino pulled down 11 rebounds, the Pride lost the battle on the boards, 44-38, but Regis did hit 95 percent (19-of-20) of its free throw attempts in the game, its best free throw shooting performance since going 16-for-16 against Southern Vermont Feb. 18, 2017.
Regis (9-14, 5-5 GNAC) hosts Simmons University in its final home game of the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 12, starting at 8 p.m. at Higgins Court. Albertus Magnus hosts Johnson & Wales Tuesday night at 6 p.m.