Hawk women’s basketball wins six of their last eight games

Johnny Norton, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm College women’s basketball team kicked off the month of February with a thrilling 67-61 victory at home against the Ravens of Franklin Pierce on Feb. 1. The Hawks have won six of their last seven games and are heating up heading into the final stretch of the season.

Senior Candace Andrews was lights out from the field, making her first 11 shots to ignite the Hawks offense. She finished with 23 points, three rebounds, six assists and seven steals. Seniors Kaila Duarte and Caitlyn Abela each scored 13 points, with the Hawks shooting an impressive 62 percent from the floor. The Hawks dominated the paint, scoring 42 points from the inside and grabbing 22 rebounds.

Saint Anselm was able to fight off a struggling Franklin Pierce squad, who is winless in NE10 conference play. The game was back and forth throughout, with the Ravens answering every time the Hawks went on a run. Andrews led a 12-0 run at the end of the first quarter, with Franklin Pierce countering with their own 7-0 run to start the second quarter. The Hawks were up 33-32 leading into the break.

After the break, the Hawks hit 10 straight shots to gain a 56-45 lead heading into the fourth. However, the Ravens would not go down without fighting, going on a 15-3 run in the fourth, cutting the Hawk’s lead to one. The Hawks were able to thwart the Franklin Pierce attack with the help of strong defensive play from the front and back court. A pair of free throws from Duarte and a steal from Andrews in the last possession of the game capped off the win.

The Hawks are rolling after a thrilling overtime victory against University of New Haven, who knocked them out of the playoffs in the quarterfinal game last season. Andrews led the team with 21 points and 8 assists, as well as hitting a go ahead three point play in the final seconds of overtime and blocking New Haven’s attempt at a last second shot.

With six games to play, the Hawks are currently third in the NE10 standings, sitting behind Adelphi and Bentley. With an eye on the playoffs, the team is playing some of their best basketball of the year. After an early exit from the playoffs last year, the Hawks are gearing up for a playoff run. The team’s emphasis on defense has been a success, averaging seven steals and four blocks per game, while holding teams to shooting just 37% from the field.

As the regular season begins to wind down, the Hawks are rolling full steam ahead. The top five teams from each conference receive a bid to the NE10 playoffs, and Saint Anselm has their eye on a high seed. With a strong core of seniors and help off the bench, the Hawks are built for a run.

The Hawks fell on Feb. 7 to Assumption College in a close, match. The game ended 55-46. The Hawks are set to put this loss behind them and prepare for their game against St. Michael’s on Feb. 11.