Golden Bears Fall to Eastern Connecticut in Non-Conference Finale, 66-56

Photo by Chris Marion/Recap by Mike Spratt
Photo by Chris Marion/Recap by Mike Spratt

 Olson matches career-high with 15 points, Anderson adds 13

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 2, 2017) – The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team used a strong fourth quarter effort to hold off Western New England University, 66-56, in non-conference action this evening at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
• Senior guard Sammie Olson (Tolland, Conn.) led the way for the Golden Bears, matching her career-high with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 3-of-5 from the free throw line to go with four rebounds.
• Senior forward Emily Anderson (Rocky Hill, Conn.) recorded 13 points, seven boards and three assists.
• Senior forward Paige Young (Berlin, Conn.) finished with six points and four rebounds.

• Freshman forward Mya Villard (Cromwell, Conn.) paced the Warriors with game-highs of 17 points, shooting 6-of-11 from the field and 5-of-9 from the charity stripe, and 15 rebounds.
• Senior guard Jordyn Nappi (Southington, Conn.) was also in double figures with 16 points and four boards.
• Senior guard Juila DePoi (Brookfield, Conn.) also posted a double-double with ten points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Game Review
• The tightly contested first quarter featured runs on both sides, as Western New England junior Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) started an 8-1 run with two made free throws at the 4:31 mark as the Golden Bears claimed an early 19-10 lead. The Warriors finished the quarter with a 10-2 run of their own, capped off by a three-pointer from Nappi, to close out the frame with a 22-21 lead.
• Eastern Connecticut would carry the momentum into the second quarter as the visitors led 30-23 with less than seven minutes left in the first half. A layup by junior Kelly Reardon (Holyoke, Mass.) raised the lead to ten points (35-25), before the Golden Bears started to chip away at the deficit. Western New England scored six straight points heading into the break, including four from Anderson, to pull to within six (37-31).
• A three-pointer by Olson at the 5:53 mark of the third quarter closed the gap to two (41-39) as the rest of the period stayed close. A layup by sophomore Caroline Niland (Waltham, Mass.) at 1:02 kept the score within two (47-45) heading into the final frame.
• Freshman guard Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire, Conn.) scored on Eastern Connecticut's opening possession of the fourth quarter, and Nappi followed with a jumper as the Warriors stretched their lead back to six (51-45). The Golden Bears continued to battle, trailing by just three (56-53) after a layup by Anderson with 4:46 remaining, but they would get no closer. Eastern Connecticut answered with a decisive 7-0 run and went on to win by ten.

Notes
• Western New England shot 32.8% (20-of-61) from the field and 66.7% (12-of-18) from the free throw line.
• The Warriors outrebounded the Golden Bears 54-36.
• Following her 13-point performance, Anderson is now 66 shy of 1000 points for her career.

Up Next
Western New England (14-6) will stay at home for Senior Day to host Wentworth on Saturday at 1 p.m., while Eastern Connecticut State (14-6) travels to Plymouth State.