NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Regis College once again stayed with Albertus Magnus College through most of Tuesday's game, but the Falcons put together a fourth-quarter run to increase their advantage and then held on to defeat the Pride, 82-74, in a quarterfinal game of the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at the AMC Athletic Center.
Valerie Martin (Derry, N.H.) shot 9-of-15 from the field, including hitting all three of her three-point attempts, and 7-of-9 from the free throw line as she notched her second double-double of the season with a season-high 28 points and 13 rebounds. Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) hit 6-of-12 field goal attempts as she collected 15 points, and Nikki Bitinaitis (Cromwell, Conn.) contributed seven points, six assists, and three steals.
Raegon Shirling-Davis hit a three-pointer to open the game and give Albertus Magnus a lead it would relinquish only once in the first quarter on a Martin layup that tied the game at 6-6. Layups by Jill Johnson and Shirling-Davis allowed the Falcons to quickly retake the lead, and Albertus Magnus would maintain that advantage through the rest of the quarter, entering the second quarter with a 19-15 lead.
Down 29-24 in the second quarter after a layup by Shyla Osmond, Regis scored five straight points on a three-pointer by Martin and a layup by Veasey. The Falcons answered with five unanswered points of their own, but a traditional three-point play from Martin and a three-pointer by Maura Russell (Braintree, Mass.) closed the Pride deficit to one at 36-35 heading into halftime.
Veasey opened the second half with a layup to give the Pride their first lead of the game, but the two teams would trade the lead for the next minute before Albertus Magnus reestablished its advantage on a three-pointer by Johnson and a jumper by Rah Rah Thompson. After two free throws by Martin, the Falcons scored six straight points thanks to two baskets by Thompson and one by Osmond.
The Pride battled back, putting together a 9-1 scoring run capped by a Russell three-pointer that tied the game at 52-52. Osmond made two free throws and Johnson hit a layup on the Falcons' final possession of the period to put the home team ahead after three quarters, 56-53.
Martin hit two free throws three minutes into the fourth quarter to close the gap to two at 60-58, but Albertus Magnus responded with an 18-4 scoring run over the next five minutes that effectively put the game away. Regis never quit, outscoring the Falcons 12-4 over the final two minutes, led by Sam D'Angelo (Woburn, Mass.) with four points, three rebounds, and one steal during that stretch.
Albertus Magnus (23-3) leaned on its starting lineup, as each starter scored at least eight points, led by Osmond with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field along with seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Thompson notched yet another double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Johnson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, Shirling-Davis contributed 11 points, and Kristin Cunning added eight points and two steals.
In what would turn out to be the final game of their collegiate careers, D'Angelo finished with nine points and eight rebounds, while Russell ended up with eight points, graduating from Regis with the single season record for made three-pointers with 56 this year and second on the all-time made three-pointer list with 145.
As a team, the Pride shot 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field, including 5-of-16 from behind the three-point line, and 67.7 percent (21-of-31) from the free throw line. Regis ended up with a slight rebounding edge, 43-41, including 14 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second chance points.
The Falcons shot 43.3 percent (29-of-67) from the field, including 5-of-21 from behind the three-point line, and 70.4 percent (19-of-27) from the free throw line. Albertus Magnus advances to the GNAC Tournament semifinals, traveling to Boston to face Emmanuel College Thursday, Feb. 21.
Regis concludes the 2018-19 season with an 11-15 overall record. The future looks promising for the Pride, as five of the top seven scorers this year are eligible to return next season.