By Sarah DeWolfe | Staff Writer

December is here and we are halfway to Christmas just itching to go home for winter break. While December signals the beginning of the holiday season, it also means winter sports are underway at Salve Regina and the hardworking student athletes of the Men and Women’s Basketball teams are in the midst of their seasons. Here we’ll take a look at their performances so far and what to expect when we return for the Spring Semester.

Senior Rodney Morton (above) becomes the 19th member of the men’s basketball 1,000 point club. (Photo by Rob McGulnness)

In the first two games of the year the Salve Regina Men’s Basketball (5-3) played in the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament against Mitchell and Anna Maria College, but walked away without victory. Senior guard Rodney Morton (a name you’ll be hearing a lot of) played 77 of 80 minutes between the two games and played consistently, scoring 20 points each game. Freshman Kevin Kelly had memorable performances in both games-recording 16 points in the first game and 22 points 9 rebounds in the second game-earning him a spot on the all-tourney team. The freshmen class is representing early as fellow first year Stephen Natola added 8 boards. Although Salve’s defense throughout the tournament was remarkable with 20 steals, it wasn’t enough to win either match.

The Seahawks christened their home court this season with a 64-54 victory against the Mount Ida Mustangs on November 21st surrounded by the familiar green and blue of the Rodgers Rec Center. This was the 8th consecutive home opener dub for the Seahawks men’s basketball program. Not only were they outscoring their opponents by 11 at the half, but they also recorded more rebounds-which led to more second chance points-and more assists. Freshman Kevin Kelly and Junior Kevin Mannix both had 9 boards a piece to lead the way for Salve. The Seahawks worked to set the tone for the season by keeping their turnovers to a minimum while also forcing mistakes on visiting team and capitalizing off of them. Morton led all scorers with 26 points and squared up for 15 of the Seahawks’ 27 second half points, earning himself his 3rd straight game with 20+ points.

But he was just getting started. On Saturday December 9th, Morton, who averaged 21.1 points at home last season, went into the home game against Worcester State with the chance to become the 19th men’s basketball player in Salve history to gain membership into the coveted 1,000 point club. And he did just that in the second half with a clutch three pointer that boosted the Seahawks to a 57-54 lead over the Lancers. He didn’t stop there, netting a game-high 25 points to assure a team win. Kevin Kelly also recorded his first double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Seahawks.

This season the men’s basketball team is putting up some impressive stats, like the 20 points they scored

Junior Kerri Beland calls a play in the Seahawks win over Eastern Nazarene College. (Photo by Ed Habershaw)

off of turnovers in their 71-62 win against Eastern Nazarene. Junior Isaiah Bowman also stepped up to contribute 12 points and went 2 for 3 from downtown in their close win over Western New England. The Seahawks have been and will continue to be dominant in the paint, winning over both offensive and defensive rebounds and putting of 2nd and 3rd chance shots to give themselves an advantage in any way they can. Their shooting ability as a team has also been respectable, and comes

from a variety of players both starting and off the bench. Freshman Cam Collins-a CCC Rookie of the Week-dropped 16 in a victory over Suffolk University, in which he made his first four shots after being subbed in. The Seahawks shot 56% from the field this game. The Seahawks have already shown improvement with their winning record so far, as last year they went 6-12 in the CCC. And with 17 more games left in a season that goes well into February, it’s safe to say we’ve seen a glimpse of what this team is capable of.

The next time the Seahawks will play at home will be Thursday January 4th at 7pm against Curry College.

Also having a successful year are the Lady Seahawks who, in their season and home opener, beat Suffolk in a thrillingly close 52-50 win. Although they were slow to start-trailing on a 5-0 unanswered run by the Rams-Junior Kerri Beland got the offense going with a three pointer. Sophomore Torie Scorpio added a team high 15 points (and 3 treys) that proved crucial as the clock ran down and the game was getting tight. Junior Tara Burke hit a layup in the fourth that gave Salve a 10 point lead, a much needed layup as the game almost took a turn for the worst. Beland was put to the test when she was to go to the line with 7 seconds left in the game, but skillfully sank both shots; which later turned out to be game changers as the Rams scored 10 of the final 12 points and finished just short of clinching the lead. The Seahawks outrebounded their opponents 45 to 32.

The Salve Women’s team showed early on that they were a team to be reckoned with in several conference and non-league games. In a victory over Wentworth the Seahawks led by as much as 23 points just in the first half, and held the visiting Leopards to a mere 27 points. Scorpio proved to be a heavy hitter game in and game out, contributing 15 points to a win over Wentworth, 16 (7 for 9 from the field) in a win over Eastern Nazarene, and 10 in a loss against Western New England. Burke has also marked her name all over the stats book, grabbing 8 boards in the Nazarene game and a game high 21 points against WNE.

In their latest game against Penn College, the Seahawks stepped up to find victory in a 62-52 home match. This game brought them to 3-0 at home and added to their 6 home game win streak. They fought for a season-high 17 steals and forced another season-high 36 turnovers, which they wholly took advantage of by snagging an extra 24 points off of them. Beland went 6 for 18 and sank all four free throws for a 17 point game, and also managed to nab a career-high 7 steals. They outscored their opponent in the paint 28-12, thanks in part to Burke’s 13 points in the paint. Senior Ally Esielionis dominated with a game-high 6 blocks, while Senior Mary Eden had a game-high 6 assists.

The team is 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Conference. Although they have yet to meet up with the majority of their conference opponents, the girls’ will use their many skills-forcing and capitalizing off turnovers, rebounds, steals, free throw averages-to put up a fight and make it to playoffs.

Their next home game will be held on Tuesday December 12th at 7pm against Fisher College.

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