Western little match for Rhode Island College in 66-38 loss

BOX SCORE

PROVIDENCE, RI (Feb. 14) — The Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team rallied to draw within five points of Little East Conference Rival Rhode Island College going into halftime, but were outscored 40-17 in the second half to fall by the final score of 66-38 Tuesday night.

From the desk of Scott Gibbons - Rhode Island College SID

Senior guard Stephanie Coro (North Providence, RI) tallied 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals as the Rhode Island College women’s basketball team knocked off Western Connecticut, 66-38, on Tuesday at The Murray Center in Little East Conference action.

With the win, Rhode Island College (21-3, 12-1 LEC) clinched the first Little East Conference Regular Season Championship in the program’s history. The Anchorwomen set a new program-record for wins in a season with 21, receive a bye in the first round and will host the 2012 Little East Conference Tournament semifinals and final on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25.

"To hold the top three-point field goal shooting team in our conference to 10 percent from beyond the arc was a highlight of another excellent defensive effort tonight,” said Head Coach Marcus Reilly. “This group has had winning the first Regular Season Conference Championship in school history as their first goal all year and it is a credit to all 15 kids and, especially, our five seniors that they've reached that goal. We have to keep defending at the level we did today as they have a few more very special goals left to achieve for themselves."

After a sloppy first-half that featured a plethora of turnovers for both squads, RIC went into the intermission with a 26-21 lead over Western Connecticut (15-10, 7-7 LEC). However, the Anchorwomen exploded out of the break to go on a 12-2 run over the first six minutes of the half to take a commanding, 38-23, lead with 14:08 left to play.

Minutes later, Coro went on a scoring barrage to break the game open even further, beginning with her first trey of the ballgame at the 10:37 mark. Coro responded with a layup and back-to-back threes over the next minute and a half to put the Anchorwomen on top, 51-32, with 8:50 remaining. RIC ran away with it from there, eventually outscoring the Colonials in the second half, 40-17, en route to the victory.

Rhode Island College had an excellent shooting night in the win, as they shot 44 percent (25-for-57) from the floor, 85 percent from the free throw line (11-for-13) and 56 percent from beyond the arc (5-for-9). Meanwhile, Western shot just 36 percent (17-for-47) from the field, including a 10 percent shooting effort (1-for-10) from downtown.

Defensively, RIC forced the Colonials into 25 turnovers, while coming away with 16 steals as a team. The Anchorwomen also dominated the glass, outrebounding Western Connecticut, 39-27.

Senior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI) posted a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with a pair of steals and a pair of assists. Senior guard Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, RI) recorded 14 points, four rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists, while junior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) added 12 points, five boards and three steals in the win. Senior guard Nicole Girard (Foster, RI) registered seven points, four assists, and three steals.

Junior forward Carly Murphy (Wolcott, CT) led the Colonials with 15 points and seven rebounds, while senior guard Stephanie Slonski (Griswold, CT) finished with 11 points, four assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore guard Caroline Brasa (East Hartford, CT) chipped in with six points and seven boards in the loss.

In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will close out the regular season at home against Keene State (1 p.m.) on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Newspaper Box Score

RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE 66, WESTERN CONNECTICUT 38

WESTERN CONNECTICUT (15-9, 7-6 LEC)
Carly Murphy 6-13 2-3 15; Stephanie Slonski 5-9 1-2 11; Caroline Brasa 3-9 0-1 6; Amber Litwinko 1-4 0-0 2; Sciarra Brandt 1-2 0-0 2; Melissa DiNino 1-2 0-1 2; Nicole Eanniello 0-3 0-0 0; Chelsea Mone 0-3 0-0 0; Taylor Nkonoki 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-47 3-7 38.

RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (21-3, 12-1 LEC)
Stephanie Coro 6-15 0-0 16; Cynthia Gaudet 5-9 4-4 14; Rachel Riley 6-16 2-2 14; Courtney Burns 4-9 4-6 12; Nicole Girard 3-3 0-0 7; Brittany Saccoccio 1-1 1-1 3; Katie Donovan 0-1 0-0 0; Alexia Vega 0-0 0-0 0; Megan Sewall 0-0 0-0 0; Stephanie Prusko 0-1 0-0 0; Melanie Cline 0-0 0-0 0; Ashley O'Dell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 11-13 66.

Western Connecticut........... 21 17 - 38
Rhode Island College.......... 26 40 - 66

3-point goals--Western Connecticut 1-10 (Carly Murphy 1-2; Caroline Brasa 0-3; Amber Litwinko 0-1; Nicole Eanniello 0-1; Chelsea Mone 0-1; Taylor Nkonoki 0-2), Rhode Island College 5-9 (Stephanie Coro 4-8; Nicole Girard 1-1). Fouled out--Western Connecticut-None, Rhode Island College-None. Rebounds--Western Connecticut 27 (Carly Murphy 7; Caroline Brasa 7), Rhode Island College 39 (Rachel Riley 11). Assists--Western Connecticut 12 (Stephanie Slonski 4), Rhode Island College 14 (Nicole Girard 4). Total fouls--Western Connecticut 8, Rhode Island College 13. Technical fouls--Western Connecticut-None, Rhode Island College-None. A-235