The Regis (Mass.) women's basketball team's NCAA-record 118-game conference winning streak has come to a close, after the Pride suffered a 77-68 loss to Johnson & Wales in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Wildcat Center on Thursday night. It is the Pride's first conference loss since Feb. 5, 2011, when the team was still a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
With the loss, the Pride falls to 8-7 overall on the season and 6-1 in conference play. Johnson and Wales moves to 10-6 and is now also 6-1 in GNAC play.
Johnson & Wales relied on the 3-pointer to get out to a fast start. The Wildcats built a 17-6 lead on a Britney Gallagher layup. JWU shot 58.8 percent in the first half, including 50 percent from behind the arc. Johnson & Wales took a 25-18 lead into the locker room.
Every time the Pride made a run in the second half, the Wildcats had an answer. Regis cut the lead to 52-44 on a Shannon Hayes layup in the third quarter, but Raquel Pederzani answer with a jumper on the next possession to push the lead back to double digits.
Johnson & Wales hit 10-of-25 (40 percent) from behind the arc and used pressure defense to defeat Regis. The Wildcats forced the Pride into 19 turnovers, which JWU converted into 21 points. Regis had a 36-31 rebounding advantage, but couldn't take advantage of its opportunity at the free throw line, shooting 60 percent (9-of-15).
Regis guard Nikki Bitnaitis was in sixth grade when her current team last lost a conference game.
Regis athletics photo
Recalling Regis' record run
The Pride won their last four conference games as a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference before running the table for six consecutive years in the New England Collegiate Conference.
|2010-11||16-12, 9-4 CCC|
|2011-12||21-6, 18-0 NECC|
|2012-13||23-5, 18-0 NECC|
|2013-14||23-5, 18-0 NECC|
|2014-15||22-6, 18-0 NECC|
|2015-16||24-4, 18-0 NECC|
|2016-17||22-7, 18-0 NECC|
|2017-18||8-7, 6-1 GNAC|
Four Wildcats reached double figures, including Pederzani who put up a career-best 31 points. She now has 1,325 points for her career, ranking her second in school history. Ally Mishol followed with 16 points and a team-high six rebounds. Kristen Habbel had a great stat line across the board, producing 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Sarah Duryea tossed in 14 points and grabbed five boards.
Regis had two players each record a double-double. Hayes had a team-best 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany Stone scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 13 boards. Nikki Bitinaitis followed with 14 points and Maura Russell added 11.
The record for most consecutive conference wins by a Division III women's basketball team previously belonged to Maryville (Mo.), which won 92 consecutive games in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from Jan. 15, 2004, to Feb. 24, 2009, before leaving for NCAA Division II.