On Tuesday evening, the Roger Williams University Hawks dominated the Salve Regina Seahawks to extend their win streak to 11 games. The Hawks remain undefeated in Commonwealth Coast Conference play (CCC).
Salve began the game with a quick, moving offense to rattle the Hawks defense who struggled to contend under the basket. However, when head coach, Kelly Thompson, decided to switch their defense to a 2-3 zone formation, Salve’s offense took a step backwards. After their new tactic began to show results, the Hawks took their first time out to settle themselves. Salve reacted with a foul on junior Mariah Nicholas who was able to complete her two free throws easily. This gave the Hawks a big energy boost to take the lead by 1.
This energy was first seen through junior, Teagan Dunn who made an outstanding save out of bounds to keep the play going. This pass was received by senior captain, Emma Klis who returned the pass to Dunn to allow her to make an easy layup. This energy was also seen when the Hawks began to communicate more efficiently, displaying a near perfect offense.
Salve’s defense could not keep up with the Hawks’ new found energy of the game forcing them to switch their defense to a 2-3 zone as well. The first quarter ended with Roger Williams on top with a score of 17-11.
In the second quarter, the Hawks continued to improve with a tighter defense and a tougher offense than before. This chemistry shook the Seahawks as they began to play tough backcourt defense. This press allowed the Seahawks to grant Roger Williams a turnover. The Hawks defense again remained strong as they blocked a full court pass from Salve and began to increase their lead. With a travel called on Roger Williams, Salve was able to reset their defense. Freshman, Gabby Jerahian, pushed easily through the zone to score with another layup.
The Hawks continued to share their chemistry with the crowd as they worked the zone by passing and cutting. Salve Regina could not respond forcing them to take a full timeout with the score 24-15 in favor of the Hawks. The Hawks high spirits continued to show as their defense responded quicker.
“I thought our defense was great tonight,” Coach Thompson agreed. It was clear that everyone on the court was thinking hard about their next move. The first half ended with a score of 26-17 (Roger Williams).
Throughout the second half, both teams continued with a zone defense. The Seahawks began to play a much more aggressive game as they began to rack up fouls against Roger Williams. The team reached their limit on fouls and continued to intentionally foul the Hawks to put them on the line. Their plan backfired when Roger Williams showed up every time. The Hawks responded well, keeping it clean on their end to earn a proud 57-34 victory.
“Usually there’s one person that I think just explodes and you can see makes the biggest difference in the game, but I don’t think tonight there was,” says Coach Thompson. The team pulled out big numbers all over the boards to perform tonight’s victory properly demonstrating the chemistry they showed the crowd.
Coach Thompson expressed her gratitude by saying, “anytime we can get a win over Salve it’s a good thing. They always come ready to play and bring their best against us.”
“We’re at a point in the season where everyone wants to beat us,” says Coach Thompson, “I’m happy with any win, but the wins are without a doubt the result of our chemistry. The team has dealt with some adversity, but we’ve really transformed through different lineups. They’ve been able to be really resilient despite that… and they have a great respect for each other. Being able to communicate makes a big difference.” On Saturday, the Lady Hawks will hit the road to take on University of New England and stay undefeated in the CCC.