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Thursday, November 28, 2013

3-pointers push Rivier to victory over rival DWC

Women’s College Basketball: Raiders 85, Eagles 62

NASHUA – Things could go pretty well for the Rivier University women’s basketball team this season, if Tuesday night was any indication.

The Raiders pulled away from city rival Daniel Webster, 85-63, to improve to 3-1 but they surprisingly got to do so on their home floor for what was supposed to be a road game. ...

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NASHUA – Things could go pretty well for the Rivier University women’s basketball team this season, if Tuesday night was any indication.

The Raiders pulled away from city rival Daniel Webster, 85-63, to improve to 3-1 but they surprisingly got to do so on their home floor for what was supposed to be a road game.

Heating problems at DWC’s Mario Vagge Gym forced the game to be moved to Rivier’s Muldoon Center, where the Raiders were never threatened.

How good can this team, which had a disappointing finish last year with a quarterfinal loss, be?

“As good as we want to be, I guess,” said Raiders junior Deanna Purcell of Hudson, who led all scorers with 16 points. “I think we have more people this year who love to be here, love to play basketball. We’ve never been so deep before in the three years I’ve been here.”

Adding to that depth is Nashua High School South alum Caitlyn Perry, who saw a lot of minutes on Tuesday and scored 11 points.

“It’s a talented team, I love it,” Perry said. “It was fun to play a rivalry game.”

“She’s a good player,” Riv coach Paul Williams said. “She’s had a very good start.”

The 2-4 Eagles, meanwhile, are feeling their way. They played a scrappy game, led by Ashley Giampetruzzi’s 14 points, but saw the Raiders pull away for an early 16-7 lead. Kayla Free’s 3–pointer at the halftime buzzer pulled DWC to within 45-34, but the Raiders jumped out to an 8-4 run to start the second half and cruised.

It was tough for the Eagles, who had only eight players in uniform due to injuries and saw Giampetruzzi and McKenzie Stone leave in the final two minutes after being shaken up. Senior point guard Ariel Guzman had to miss most of the second half with sore knees after she scored nine of her 11 points in the first 20 minutes.

“I think tonight we went in spurts,” Eagles first-year coach Andrea Woodbury said. “The intensity was good at first, but then the frustration took over.

“They’re a good team. We took our chances with them hitting 3-point shots. You look at their stats, they hadn’t hit them before, but tonight they hit them.”

The Raiders, who also got 14 points and seven rebounds from 6-foot-1 senior Jacyln Penniman, were 8-of-27 from outside the arc.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Williams said. “But we’re definitely pleased with the results. We saw some things from some different players that we were looking for.”

And he and the Raiders will be looking for a lot more in late February.