NEWPORT, R.I. - Senior forward Brianna Del Valle (Belchertown, Mass.) scored 14 of her team-high 20 points in the first half as Salve Regina University women's basketball built a 13-point cushion en route to a 57-46 victory over visiting Nichols College in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Rodgers Recreation Center.
The Seahawks, winners of 11 in a row against the Bison, improve to 11-7 overall and 8-3 in CCC play. Nichols falls to 4-13 overall and 1-9 in the league while extending its losing streak to 10 games.
Del Valle led three Salve Regina student-athletes in double figures with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting (50.0 percent). Junior Meaghan Harden (Sandwich, Mass.) filled the stat sheet with 15 points, seven boards, three assists, and two steals while senior Laura Anne Dinan (Monterey, Mass.) went for 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
The Seahawks (11-7, 8-3 CCC) canned 46 percent of their field goal attempts (22-of-48) and outrebounded the Bison 41-35. Nichols, meanwhile, forced 19 turnovers but only scored eight points off them. The Bison struggled from behind the arc, knocking down just two of their 17 attempts.
The Seahawks opened up a 10-point first half lead 13 minutes into the contest following a jumper from freshman Allyson Esielionis (Shirley, Mass.). The lead grew to 14 on a jumper from Dinan with 5:47 on the clock, and a line-drive 3-pointer at the horn from Dinan sent SRU to the locker room up 36-23. Del Valle led all scorers with 14 while Amber Litwinko (Berlin, Conn.) paced Nichols with 12.
Nichols opened the second on a 10-4 run to trim its deficit to seven (40-33) as Alexis Wegrzynek (Wilbraham, Mass.) and Taylor Daniels (Dudley, Mass.) each scored four. The Seahawks answered with a 7-0 run of their own to grab a 47-33 lead midway through the second half on a jumper from Del Valle. The Bison did not get closer than nine the rest of the way.
Litwinko played 39 minutes and finished with 20 points, five rebounds, two steals, and one assist. Daniels dropped in nine points while Wegrzynek pulled down 10 rebounds and scored six points.
Madelyn Brackett (Coopersville, Mich.) grabbed a career-high nine rebounds to lead Salve Regina.
The Seahawks head to Wentworth for a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday while the Bison host Roger Williams Saturday at 2 p.m.