Third Quarter Run Seals Western New England’s 71-55 Victory at Nichols

Photo by Riccio Productions
Photo by Riccio Productions

O'Neill, Anderson & Young lead the way for Golden Bears

DUDLEY, Mass. (January 31, 2017) – The Western New England University women's basketball team outscored Nichols College by a combined 20 points in the second and third quarters en route to a 71-55 victory this evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Nichols Athletic Center.

Top Performers
• Junior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) turned in a strong all-around effort with 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals. O'Neill shot 4-of-7 from the field, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
• Senior forward Emily Anderson (Rocky Hill, Conn.) made 4-of-8 three-pointers and 7-of-19 field goals overall on her way to a game-high 18 points. Anderson also recorded four rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one assist in the victory.
• Senior forward Paige Young (Berlin, Conn.) posted her seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with two steals in just 20 minutes of action.

• Sophomore Mekaela Fithian-Giantonio (Plainville, Conn.) led the Bison with a team-high 15 points, three steals and two assists.
• Senior Taylor Daniels (Dudley, Mass.) recorded a double-double with 14 points, ten boards, three assists and two steals.

Game Review
• Fithian-Giantonio opened the game with a three-pointer on Nichols' first possession, and the Bison led 11-7 after senior Brittany Donovan (Newport, R.I.) knocked down a pair of free throws four minutes into the contest.
• Western New England took its first lead (15-13) after senior guard Sammie Battaini (Leominster, Mass.) and O'Neill hit consecutive triples later in the quarter, but Fithian-Giantonio answered with a trey on the Bison's next possession and Nichols led 18-17 after one period.
• With Nichols still holding onto a 24-23 edge following a jumper by Daniels with 4:13 remaining in the half, Western New England put together a 13-0 run to open up a 36-24 advantage with just 34 seconds on the clock. Fithian-Giantonio completed a traditional three-point play in the closing seconds, however, to cut Nichols' deficit to nine at the break.
• Western New England took control of the contest in the third quarter, as a Young layup at the 8:14 mark sparked a 10-0 run that saw the Golden Bears extend their cushion to 18 (49-31). O'Neill fueled the key stretch with five points, including a three-pointer, while Anderson also connected from beyond the arc.
• Nichols pulled to within 11 (49-38) on a Fithian-Giantonio trey midway through the third quarter, but Anderson answered with consecutive three-pointers  to stretch the lead back to 17 (55-38).
• Western New England, which held a commanding 59-40 advantage after 30 minutes, never let its lead fall below 12 in the final frame. 

Notes
• Western New England shot 41.3% from the field and 45.5% from beyond the arc while limiting the Bison to a 31.7% shooting clip overall and just 17.4% from the three-point line.
• Led by Young and O'Neill, the Golden Bears won the rebounding battle, 45-37.
• Western New England has now won six straight games against Nichols, and the Golden Bears lead the all-time series 28-18.
• Following her 18-point performance, Anderson needs just 79 to reach to the 1000-point mark for her Western New England career.

Up Next
Western New England (14-5, 10-3 CCC) returns home on Thursday to host Eastern Connecticut in a non-conference contest at 7 p.m., while Nichols (2-17, 2-11 CCC) travels to Curry on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup.