WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College women's basketball team fell to visiting Sage College, 63-58 on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the Regis College Invitational. With the win, Sage moves to 1-0 on the season and advances to tomorrow's Championship Game at 3 p.m. against the winner of MIT and Suffolk. The Pride drop to 0-1 on the year and will await their opponent for tomorrow's Consolation Game at 1:00 p.m.
Leading the way for the Pride was freshman forward Amanda Hawkesworth (Abington, Mass.), who registered a double-double in her collegiate debut after knocking down a team-high 15 points on 7-for-13 shooting and grabbing ten boards to go along with four steals and three assists.
Fueled by a seven point effort by junior guard Megan Bowman (Dannemora, N.Y.), the first half saw the Gators jump to a quick 14-2 lead just 5:02 into the game, which prompted a Regis timeout. After regrouping, the Pride came out of the break and stormed back after making a 20-7 run to take a 22-21 lead with 3:05 remaining.
Regis was paced by senior Claire Ramonas (Portland, Maine) and sophomore Alyssa Vieira-Lanpher (Princeton, Mass.), who combined for 11 of the points during that stretch. Not to be outdone, however, the visitors would go on to close out the half on an 8-2 run to take a 29-24 lead heading into halftime.
The second half began with each team trading baskets early, as the Pride were unable to chip away at the lead. It wasn't until about the 11:30 mark when Regis began to claw their way back into the game.
Junior guard Janaya Bradley (New Haven, Conn.) hit both of her free-throws on a one-and-one opportunity to cut the lead to four. Shortly after, sophomore Taylor Bunkley (Carmel, N.Y.) knocked down a three-pointer to make it a one point game before a reverse layup by Vieira-Lanpher gave Regis their second lead of the game with ten minutes remaining.
The Gators and Pride continued to trade baskets for much of the rest of the half. Back-to-back baskets by Hawkesworth gave the host a 58-57 lead with 1:45 to play. Sage's Carlee Hirt (Beacon, N.Y.) and Bowman answered back with a jumper and a made free-throw shot, respectively, to reclaim a 60-58 lead with under one minute to play.
Regis had an opportunity to tie the game after a Sage foul sent Vieira-Lanpher to the line, but her two shot attempts rolled off the rim. Hirt went on to sink a crucial bucket to extend the lead with 19 seconds left and also added a free- throw shot 15 seconds later after the Pride were forced to foul, as Sage held on for the victory.
The Gators were led by Bowman's 18 points, six assists, and three steals, while Hirt and freshman Frankie Pearson (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) combined for 23 points and nine rebounds.
Regis had three other players reach double figures in addition to Hawkesworth, including Ramonas, Bunkley, and Bradley. Ramonas and Bunkley each had 12 points and combined for 13 rebounds, while Bradley was not far behind with 11 points, three assists, and one block.