WESTON, Mass. – After a combined nine games away from home during the first two weeks of the 2018-19 season, the Regis College men's and women's basketball teams will hold their first home games of the year on back-to-back nights this week at Higgins Court within the Regis Athletics Center.
The women's basketball team takes on Westfield State Wednesday evening, Nov. 28, beginning at 6 p.m. The following night, the men's basketball squad welcomes Wheaton College to campus for a 7 p.m. tipoff Thursday, Nov. 29.
Head coach Angela Santa Fe is in her sixth season at the helm of the Pride women's basketball team, still looking for its first victory of the year. Regis opened the season Nov. 16 with a loss to Bowdoin, now the top ranked team in the country, followed by close losses to Colby Nov. 17 and to Keene State this past Sunday.
Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.), coming off a record-setting volleyball season but playing organized basketball for the first time since her senior year of high school, leads the team in scoring with 9.0 points per game, plus she has pulled down 4.7 rebounds per game and is shooting 92.9 percent (13-of-14) from the free throw line.
Maura Russell (Braintree, Mass.) is shooting 50.0 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from behind the three-point line, as she has averaged 7.3 points and 1.3 steals per game. Taylor Iorfino (Monroe, Conn.) leads the team in rebounding with 6.0 rebounds per game to go along with 6.3 points per contest, and Nikki Bitinaitis (Cromwell, Conn.) is contributing 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per contest.
Westfield State enters Wednesday's game with a 2-1 record with victories over Keene State Nov. 13 and Pine Manor Nov. 17 before a loss at Emmanuel Nov. 18. The Owls are averaging 95.0 points per game and shooting 40.5 percent from the field, including 33.3 percent from behind the three-point line, and 71.4 percent from the free throw line.
Four players are scoring in double figures for Westfield State, led by Melissa Gray with 19.0 points per game and Lucy Barrett with 17.0 points per contest. Barrett also leads the team with 4.7 rebounds per game and has earned 2.7 steals per game, the same as Chelsea Moussette to go along with 6.7 assists per game.
Westfield State leads the all-time series over Regis, 3-0, with the first two wins taking place in the mid-1980s. Last season in Westfield, Mass., the Owls pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 106-81 victory.
Under 12th-year head coach Nate Hager, the Regis men's basketball team has won three straight games, including a 95-91 victory over Newbury College Monday night. The Pride are 4-2 overall heading into a stretch of three games in five days before taking four weeks off from competition to finish the fall semester and enjoy the holidays.
Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) is eighth in the GNAC in scoring at 18.2 points per game, plus he has contributed 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocked shots per game. Afonja needs 13 points to become the fifth player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark in a career, and he has scored exactly 21 points in each of Regis's four victories this season.
Shawn Wedderburn (Bronx, N.Y.) is shooting 52.9 percent from the field as he is averaging 10.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. After tying his career high with 25 points Monday, Jordan Seldon (Dorchester, Mass.) is now averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per contest.
Wheaton is 4-1 heading into a road game at Framingham State Tuesday night. Through five games, the Lyons are averaging 79.0 points per game and shooting 49.4 percent from the field, including 41.0 percent from behind the three-point line, and 75.4 percent from the free throw line.
Duaka Ekwensi leads the Lyons in scoring at 20.2 points per game as he is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 81.4 percent from the free throw line. David Carbonello is scoring 14.2 points per game, Alex DuBrow is averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.2 steals per game, and Riley Tetreault is contributing 12.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
This will be the seventh meeting between Regis and Wheaton, with the Lyons winning the previous six contests. Last season, Wheaton took the early lead on its way to an 80-60 victory over the Pride.
After facing Wheaton Thursday, Regis heads west to take on Clark University Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. It will be the first meeting ever between the Pride and the Cougars, who are 1-4 heading into games at Connecticut College Tuesday and against Becker Thursday.
The Regis men will host Rhode Island College next Monday, Dec. 3, starting at 6 p.m. at Higgins Court. The Anchormen are 6-1 heading into Little East Conference contests against Eastern Connecticut State Wednesday and Western Connecticut State Saturday. Last season in Providence, Rhode Island College held off a rally by the Pride in the final five minutes of regulation, holding on for a 74-72 victory.
Both Regis basketball teams will continue their non-conference schedules through the rest of 2018 before starting their respective GNAC slates in January 2019.