Rivier coasts past DWC
Final chapter of local college rivalry for women’s basketball
NASHUA – The final chapter wasn’t one the Daniel Webster College women’s basketball team will want to re-read.
The Rivier University- DWC women’s basketball rivalry ended in one-sided fashion on Tuesday night, with the Raiders rolling, 81-66, at Riv’s Muldoon Center.
It was, however, a story Raiders like Caitlyn Perry and Savanna Butterfield would love to read over and over. Perry had 23 points – 17 in the first half – as she turned a 28-21 game into a 44-28 lead at intermission.
And Butterfield? She ended up with 16 points and 18 rebounds, but with 1:02 left in the third quarter, her drive to the basket produced her 1,000th career point.
The game was halted briefly for a celebration. By that point, the Raiders, who enjoyed their first win at 1-3, had opened up a 69-39 lead.
"To be honest, it’s a great accomplishment," Butterfield said. "When that happened I thought about all the people who supported me throughout my career."
"I’m pleased," Raiders coach Paul Williams said. "Savanna Butterfield is one of the most unselfish players I’ve ever coached. I couldn’t be happier.
"Our effort has been very good all four games so far this season. It’s always great to get a win right before Thanksgiving."
The Raiders opened up leads of 9-2 and 21-14 but each time the Eagles – who were led by Kayla Free (17 points) and Escarlin Reynoso (14) – pulled close, 21-19 at one point.
But then Perry took over. She went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc in the first half and the Eagles (0-4) had no answer.
The Raiders increased the lead to 52-33 early on as Perry, Butterfield and Kaylee Kacavas (10 points) got going and Riv was on a roll. Rebecca DeBaldo hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter for a 73-39 lead. Caitlin Bulger added 16 points as well for Riv.
"I guess I got open and my teammates found me," said Perry, a Nashua High School South alum, who went 9 of 22 from the floor overall.
"Obviously their shooter (Perry) got hot, and that just changed the momentum," Eagles coach Andrea Woodbury said. "And Butterfield, she can turn it on, turn it off, turn it on. … We just didn’t have the size to deal with that."
Riv won the battle on the boards, 53-46, and shot 40 percent from the floor while the Eagles shot 35 percent.
And thus the rivalry ends with DWC closing in May, with the Raiders winning the last five meetings for a 17-9 advantage in the all-time series.
"It’s been a good rivalry," Perry said. "It’s too bad it has to end."