Murphy's 14 points and nine boards lead Western over Eastern, 61-57

BOX SCORE

WILLIMANTIC, CT (Jan. 17) — Junior Carly Murphy (Wolcott, CT) scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team to a 61-57 win over in-state and Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut State University Tuesday evening.

From the desk of Bob Molta - Eastern SID

With four first-year players in the starting lineup, the Eastern Connecticut State University women’s basketball team raced to an early 11-point lead before Western Connecticut State University chipped and finally posted a 61-57 Little East Conference victory Tuesday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

The win is the fourth straight for Western (12-4, 4-2 Little East) over Eastern and its fifth in six outings this season. Eastern (6-9, 2-4 Little East) has lost seven of its last nine. With the top four teams in the LEC defeating the bottom four teams, Western maintains a share of second place, two games behind leader Rhode Island College. Eastern remains tied for fifth with Massachusetts Dartmouth and Massachusetts Boston.

Tuesday, the Warriors kept Western from scoring a field goal for the first nine minutes in building a 15-4 lead. The visitors clanked their first 11 attempts from the field before finally chipping away and moving into their first lead with four minutes left. In that  run of nine straight points, junior forward Carly Murphy (Wolcott) tossed in five with a bucket and two free throws.

With the Warriors trailing  by only two with 5:30 left in the game, Western sophomore forward Caroline Brasa (East Hartford) sank a three-pointer and later added a jumper to give Western its largest lead at seven, 57-50, with 2:30 left. The Warriors had a chance to cut the Colonial lead to one when the Colonials missed a free throw with a four-point lead with 18 seconds left, but sophomore forward Sciarra Brandt (Thomaston) grabbe d the miss and junior guard Taylor Nkonoki (Middletown) swished a pair of clinching free throws nine seconds later.

The conference leader in three-point field goals with an average of seven per game, Western managed only one in the second half (four in the game) but capitalized on ten Eastern second-half turnovers to score 13 points.

Murphy scored a game-high 14 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for Western, and Brasa came off the bench for 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 21 minutes.

Freshman guard Kristina Forsman (Newington) led Eastern with 14 points, freshman forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) recording her seventh double-double in as many starts this year with 13 points and 12 rebounds.  First-year senior center Jamie Sommers (Voluntown) had her first double-double in seven games with a career-high 12 points to go along with 12 rebounds.

Eastern hosts No. 23 nationally-ranked Williams College Thursday at 7 p.m.

Newspaper Box Score

WESTERN CONNECTICUT 61, EASTERN CONNECTICUT 57

WESTERN CONNECTICUT (12-4, 4-2 LEC)
Carly Murphy 5-14 4-6 14; Caroline Brasa 5-9 1-2 13; Nicole Eanniello 4-11 2-2 11; Stephanie Slonski 3-8 2-4 8; Taylor Nkonoki 2-5 2-3 7; Melissa DiNino 3-6 0-0 6; Chelsea Mone 1-1 0-0 2; Sciarra Brandt 0-4 0-0 0; Amber Litwinko 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 11-17 61.

EASTERN CONNECTICUT (6-9, 2-4 LEC)
Kristina Forsman 3-9 8-9 14; Shannon McCourt 6-15 1-2 13; Jaymie Sommers 6-6 0-0 12; Danyelle Rodriguez 3-6 1-2 7; Taylor McBride 3-9 0-0 6; Samantha Riccio 2-3 1-2 5; Haley Roberts 0-2 0-0 0; Saige Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-50 11-15 57.

Western Connecticut........... 28 33 - 61
Eastern Connecticut........... 27 30 - 57

3-point goals--Western Connecticut 4-14 (Caroline Brasa 2-4; Nicole Eanniello 1-4; Taylor Nkonoki 1-2; Sciarra Brandt 0-2; Carly Murphy 0-2), Eastern Connecticut 0-5 (Kristina Forsman 0-1; Shannon McCourt 0-1; Danyelle Rodriguez 0-2; Samantha Riccio 0-1). Fouled out--Western Connecticut-None, Eastern Connecticut-None. Rebounds--Western Connecticut 32 (Carly Murphy 9), Eastern Connecticut 32 (Jaymie Sommers 12; Shannon McCourt 12). Assists--Western Connecticut 14 (Stephanie Slonski 4), Eastern Connecticut 10 (Kristina Forsman 3; Samantha Riccio 3). Total fouls--Western Connecticut 13, Eastern Connecticut 16. Technical fouls--Western Connecticut-None,
Eastern Connecticut-None. A-600