Western women's season ends following 67-47 loss to RIC
in Little East Conference Tournament semifinals

from the desk of Scott Gibbons and Matthew Lopes - RIC Office of Sports Information


PROVIDENCE, RI (Feb. 24) - Senior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI) posted her 42nd career double-double as she finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds in Rhode Island College’s, 67-47, win over Western Connecticut in the semifinal of the 2012 Little East Women’s Basketball Tournament at The Murray Center on Friday night.

With the win over defending champion Western Connecticut (17-10), Rhode Island College (23-3) advances to its first-ever Little East Conference Tournament Championship game, which will be played Saturday, Feb. 25 at The Murray Center (4:00 p.m.). RIC will face the winner of the other semifinal matchup on Friday night between second-seeded Southern Maine and third-seeded Keene State (7:30 p.m.).

The Anchorwomen, who completed their season-sweep of the Colonials with the win, remain perfect at The Murray Center with a 12-0 home record on the season.

After a 13-0 Rhode Island College run to open the ballgame, spearheaded by six points from Gaudet, the Colonials finally notched their first basket of the game with 12:37 on the clock, as sophomore forward Sciarra Brandt (Thomaston, CT) buried a mid-range jumper to get Western Connecticut on the board. The Anchorwomen then proceeded to string together a 24-1 run through the remainder of the half to take a 37-3 lead into the intermission. RIC held Western to just 1-of-19 (five percent) shooting through the first 20 minutes, including 0-of-8 shooting from downtown, while also forcing 18 first half turnovers.

The second half was much different for the Colonials as they shot 57 percent (17-of-30) through the final 20 minutes and coughed up just three turnovers. Yet, the 34-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome, despite a solid effort in the second frame in which they outscored RIC, 44-30.

Senior guard Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, RI) led the Anchorwomen with a game-high 16 points, to go along with four steals, three rebounds, and three assists. Senior guard Stephanie Coro (North Providence, RI) tallied 10 points, six boards, four steals, and three assists, while freshman forward Katie Donovan (Hudson, NH) recorded six points, four rebounds, and two blocks off the bench. Junior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) netted six points for RIC, while senior guard Nicole Girard (Foster, RI) contributed with five points and three assists in the win.

On the other end, junior guard Carly Murphy (Wolcott, CT) registered a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Jackie Zilnicki (Riverhead, NY) finished with a team-high 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go along with five boards. Freshman guard Caroline Brasa (East Hartford, CT) added eight points and three steals, while freshman guard Amber Litwinko (Kensington, CT) chipped in with eight points as well.

Rhode Island College shot 43 percent from the field (28-of-65) in the win, while dishing out 20 assists as a team. The Anchorwomen also committed just 11 turnovers in the win, while out-rebounding Western, 39-35. After struggling mightily in the first half, the Colonials ended the game with a 37 percent (18-of-49) shooting effort from the floor.

Newspaper Box Score
Western Connecticut vs Rhode Island College
02/24/12 5:30 p.m. at Providence, R.I. The Murray Center


Jackie Zilnicki 5-6 2-2 12; Carly Murphy 3-7 3-4 10; Amber Litwinko 3-8 1-3
8; Caroline Brasa 3-10 1-2 8; Melissa DiNino 2-3 0-1 4; Nicole Eanniello 1-9
0-0 3; Sciarra Brandt 1-4 0-0 2; Chelsea Mone 0-0 0-0 0; Taylor Nkonoki 0-2
0-0 0. Totals 18-49 7-12 47.

Cynthia Gaudet 5-14 6-9 16; Rachel Riley 6-13 1-2 13; Stephanie Coro 4-9 0-0
10; Courtney Burns 3-5 0-0 6; Katie Donovan 3-4 0-0 6; Nicole Girard 2-6 0-0
5; Ashley O'Dell 2-6 0-0 4; Alexia Vega 1-1 1-2 3; Ashley Dubois 1-1 0-0 2;
Megan Sewall 1-1 0-0 2; Stephanie Prusko 0-0 0-0 0; Cassandra Novicky 0-0
0-0 0; Melanie Cline 0-3 0-0 0; Felisha Lussier 0-2 0-0 0; Brittany
Saccoccio 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-65 8-13 67.

Western Connecticut....... 3 44 47
Rhode Island College..... 37 30 67

3-point goals--Western Connecticut 4-19 (Nicole Eanniello 1-5; Carly Murphy
1-2; Caroline Brasa 1-5; Amber Litwinko 1-3; Taylor Nkonoki 0-2; Sciarra
Brandt 0-2), Rhode Island College 3-12 (Stephanie Coro 2-5; Nicole Girard
1-2; Ashley O'Dell 0-3; Cynthia Gaudet 0-2). Fouled out--Western
Connecticut-None, Rhode Island College-None. Rebounds--Western Connecticut
35 (Carly Murphy 10), Rhode Island College 39 (Rachel Riley 10).
Assists--Western Connecticut 14 (Sciarra Brandt 4; Nicole Eanniello 4),
Rhode Island College 20 (Ashley O'Dell 4). Total fouls--Western Connecticut
9, Rhode Island College 13. Technical fouls--Western Connecticut-None, Rhode
Island College-None. A-925

2012 Little East Conference Tournament Championship Semifinal