Falcons, Walker fly by Gators

Box Score

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – Saturday’s Great Northeast Athletic Conference match-up between Albertus Magnus and Pine Manor turned into the Kendrae Walker show from the opening tip.

            After capturing the tip, the Falcons junior center scored 10 points in the first 5:00, 23 in the first half and 37 points in all – half her team’s total – in a 74-50 Albertus Magnus victory this afternoon at Pine Manor Gym. Walker (New Haven, CT/Hillhouse) added 12 rebounds and a pair of steals as the Falcons (7-9, 4-1 GNAC) soared to a 39-21 halftime lead in a game they led from the outset.

            She got Albertus on the board with a jumper just eight seconds into the game, and her team took a 4-0 lead on a Krystal Bryant jumper 25 seconds later. Pine Manor’s Tia Nelson (Rockport, MA/Rockport) answered, hitting a three-pointer to pull the Gators within a point, 4-3. Walker and Gators pivot Paulette Wright (right, Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough) then exchanged field goals, keeping Pine Manor within one, at 10-9 inside the 16:00 mark.

            After scoring eight of her team’s first 10, Walker went off on a personal 9-0 run over the next 3:10 to give the Falcons a 19-9 lead. A Yiafia Dowridge (White Plains, NY/Woodlands) free throw snapped Walker’s streak, but a Walker layup capped an 8-0 run that saw Albertus open up a 27-10 lead from which the Gators would never recover.

            With her team trailing 39-21 at halftime, Nelson’s third three-pointer got the Gators to within 15 to start the second half, but it was as close as the Gators would come. After hitting on 11-14 field goals in the first half, Walker shot 8-14 in the second. Ten different Falcons scored, but none other than Walker finished with more than six points.

            After shooting 57 percent in the first half, Albertus was held to 39 percent shooting in the second and shot 48 percent for the game.  Pine Manor forced 22 Falcons turnovers but ultimately had no answer for Walker, who shot 16-25 (64 percent) overall and 5-7 from the stripe. Her 37 points is the highest total for a Pine Manor opponent in four years, surpassing Simmons’ Kristen Lucek’s 36 points on January 28, 2006.

            Wright held her own inside, leading the Gators with 14 points on 5-11 shooting, matching Walker’s 12 rebounds.  Nelson continued her stellar play, setting a career high with 12 points three games after matching a career-best 11 points.

            Gina Simpson-Hobbs (Dorchester, MA/English) rounded out three Gators in double-figures with 11, shooting 4-5 from the line. Enjolee Phillips (Hartford, CT/Weaver), meanwhile, stuffed the stat sheet for five points, five assists, three rebounds, two steals and only two turnovers as the Gators fell to 0-13 (0-5 GNAC).

            The Gators travel to Emerson on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tilt with the Lions, returning home to take on Norwich next Saturday, January 30, at noon.


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