Trio scores in double figures and Western women open season
with thrilling 60-58 at Oneonta State


ONEONTA, NY (Nov. 15) — Freshman guard Amber Litwinko (Kensington, CT) scored a team-high 12 points and the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team opened the season with a thrilling 60-58 victory at Oneonta State College on Tuesday night.

For Oneonta State, sophomore Kristin Pappalardo (Mahopac/Lakeland) led Oneonta with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field that included two from long range.

A Madison Slagle (Rome/Rome Catholic) three-pointer gave Oneonta a 39-36 lead at the 16:27 mark of the second half.  Western Connecticut countered with eight unanswered that included back-to-back three-pointers by Carly Murphy (Wolcott, CT) and Nicole Eanniello (Danbury, CT) that gave the Colonials the lead for good.

Trailing by seven with just under three minutes to go in the game, the Red Dragons made a run and got to within two points at 55-53 on a Pappalardo lay-up.  The Colonials made two free throws to go back up by four before sophomore Alyshia Crawford (Oxford/Oxford) made a jumper with seven seconds left to bring Oneonta back to within two points at 57-55.

After a pair of free throws by Eanniello, Pappalardo drained a three with .2 seconds left to make the score 59-58.  Stephanie Slonski (Griswold, CT) made 1-of-2 free throws and the clock expired on the rebound for the final of 60-58.

Oneonta trailed at the break 34-28.  The Colonials hit seven of its 11 three-point shots to keep Oneonta at bay.  Western Connecticut shot 48 percent from the field including 70 percent from behind the arc.

Pappalardo led Oneonta with six points on the strength of two long range bombs.  The Red Dragons shot an even 50 percent in the opening half including 4-of-8 from downtown.

Slagle, sophomore Grace Schilling (Northport/Northport) and senior Samantha Szkotak (New York Mills/New York Mills) all scored 10 points each in the game.  Szkotak added a game-high eight rebounds to go with five assists and two steals.

The Colonials had three players reach double figures led by freshman Litwinko. Slonski added 11 points while Chelsea Mone (Bristol, CT) poured in 10 markers. Eanniello and Murphy contributed nine points apiece for the winners.

Oneonta will travel to New Jersey this weekend to play in the Cougar Classic hosted by Kean University.  Oneonta will face at Lewis & Clark at 3pm. The Colonials head to the Salem State University for a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday. It faces Rivier College in the opening round on Friday, at 7:30 pm.

Newspaper Box Score
Western Connecticut vs Oneonta State
11/15/11 7:00 pm at Oneonta, NY
At Oneonta, NY


Amber Litwinko 5-8 0-0 12; Stephanie Slonski 4-6 2-6 11; Chelsea Mone 4-11
0-2 10; Nicole Eanniello 2-10 4-6 9; Carly Murphy 2-5 3-4 9; Sciarra Brandt
2-5 0-0 6; Jackie Zilnicki 1-8 0-1 3; Caroline Brasa 0-3 0-0 0; Kristin
Mooney 0-0 0-0 0; Melissa DiNino 0-0 0-0 0; Taylor Nkonoki 0-1 0-0 0. Totals
20-57 9-19 60.

PAPPALARDO, Kristin 5-8 2-3 15; SZKOTAK, Samantha 4-10 2-2 10; SLAGLE,
Madison 4-11 0-0 10; SCHILLING, Grace 4-5 2-6 10; LONGTO, Sarah 2-6 0-2 4;
CRAWFORD, Alyshia 1-2 2-2 4; REGAN, Gabi 1-2 0-0 3; MULLIGAN, Kelly 1-1 0-0
2; PONESSE, Kaitlyn 0-0 0-0 0; WELYTOK, Ashley 0-0 0-0 0; WILVERDING, Kate
0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 8-15 58.

Western Connecticut........ 34 26 60
Oneonta State.............. 28 30 58

3-point goals--Western Connecticut 11-26 (Chelsea Mone 2-6; Carly Murphy
2-3; Sciarra Brandt 2-3; Amber Litwinko 2-4; Nicole Eanniello 1-4; Stephanie
Slonski 1-1; Jackie Zilnicki 1-3; Caroline Brasa 0-1; Taylor Nkonoki 0-1),
Oneonta State 6-14 (PAPPALARDO, Kristin 3-4; SLAGLE, Madison 2-6; REGAN,
Gabi 1-1; WILVERDING, Kate 0-1; SZKOTAK, Samantha 0-2). Fouled out--Western
Connecticut-None, Oneonta State-None. Rebounds--Western Connecticut 30
(Carly Murphy 4; Chelsea Mone 4; Amber Litwinko 4; Sciarra Brandt 4; Jackie
Zilnicki 4), Oneonta State 42 (SZKOTAK, Samantha 8). Assists--Western
Connecticut 12 (Stephanie Slonski 5), Oneonta State 14 (SZKOTAK, Samantha
5). Total fouls--Western Connecticut 15, Oneonta State 19. Technical
fouls--Western Connecticut-None, Oneonta State-None. A-109