Hawks serve revenge on Endicott in CCC semifinals

Britney Dixon, Sports Manager

After their first loss in a 14-game span to Endicott College last Saturday, the Hawks knew they had to come back tougher on defense to fight back against the third-seeded Gulls in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) semifinals on Thursday night.

With the championship game in sight, second-seeded Roger Williams University set out to perfect the fundamentals and come out on top. The Hawks maintained a lead throughout the entire game to knock Endicott from the tournament with a 58-50 win.

While the Hawk defense improved from Saturday, the low score was also accounted for by a lack of smart shots on both ends of the court. Part of the problem for the Hawks was Endicott keeping their defense strictly man compared to Saturday when they were worked by the zone.

There was a strong showing, however, from seniors Mariah Nicholas and Teagan Dunn attacking the boards with double-doubles. Nicholas’s numbers came mostly from under the basket with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Dunn produced 12 points and matched Nicholas in rebounds with half on the offensive glass. Dunn shot over 50 percent on the game with four assists and one block. Head Coach Kelly Thompson kindly remarks Dunn for her consistency this season.

“I think even though they started creeping back in, we made them work for it,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, the team’s biggest goals of the game were to go back to the basics and move the ball.

Looking toward Saturday, the Hawks need to continue to keep it simple.

“At this point, there’s not much I can tell them that they don’t already know — especially with five seniors,” Thompson said.

One of the biggest challenges the Hawks will face on Saturday against No. 1 University of New England is their experience in postseason play. That being said, their main focus will be taking quality shots and keeping a tough defense.

Thompson is grateful for the support that the team has had at home this season. With only one home loss, the Hawks managed to break RWU women’s basketball’s win record with 23 total victories this season, thus far.

“Who knows what Saturday will bring?” Thompson said. “But I’m really really proud of this team because I don’t think anyone expected us to be where we are right now.”