O’Neill Scores Career-High 33 Points, but Golden Bears Come Up Short at Endicott, 71-65

Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill scored a career-high 33 points in Western New England's 71-65 loss at Endicott on Tuesday.
Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill scored a career-high 33 points in Western New England's 71-65 loss at Endicott on Tuesday.

Senior captain nets 23 points in second half, including 14 in fourth quarter

BEVERLY, Mass. (January 9, 2018) –
Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored a career-high 33 points, but the Western New England University women's basketball team came up just short in a 71-65 loss to Endicott College on Tuesday evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at MacDonald Gymnasium. 

Top Performers
• O'Neill, who surpassed 1,000 career points in Western New England's last game, made 7-of-10 three-point field goals and 11-of-18 overall (4-4 FT) while also grabbing three rebounds and recording one assist. O'Neill's 33 points are ten more than her previous career-high of 23, set in February 2016 at Endicott.
• Sophomore forward Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) was the only other Golden Bear in double figures with ten points and four boards, while classmate Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) finished with eight points and six rebounds.

• Freshman guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) led Endicott with a team-high 20 points in just 18 minutes off the bench, as she shot 5-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, to go with a 6-for-7 effort at the free throw line.
• Sophomore forward Mikaela Rogers (Haverhill, Mass.) recorded eight points and nine rebounds, while senior center Sam Charette (Wenham, Mass.) chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. 

Game Review
Leading by just four entering the fourth quarter, the Gulls used a 10-2 run, capped by a triple from Stapelfeld with 6:53 remaining, to claim a 12-point (57-45) advantage. The Golden Bears, who trailed by ten (59-49) following a layup by freshman Emily Scurka (Billerica, Mass.) with 4:11 to play, battled all the way back to within two (63-61) after O'Neill drained her fourth trey of the quarter with 1:24 on the clock. Stapelfeld answered with a three on Endicott's next possession, however, and the Gulls made 4-of-5 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Western New England led 6-0 early as O'Neill knocked down her first two three-point attempts, but Endicott responded with four straight points on its way to taking a 10-8 lead on a jumper by Charette with 3:23 left in the first quarter. The Gulls closed out the quarter with a 5-0 run, including a trey from Charette with 36 seconds on the clock that gave the home a 15-12 edge after ten minutes.

Endicott was able to add to its advantage with a barrage of three-pointers in the second quarter. Charette connected from beyond the arc at the 6:13 mark, before junior Catie Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.) and senior Gabriella Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) followed with treys to give Endicott an 11-point lead (26-15) with 4:34 remaining in the half. Carlson ended the 9-0 run with a layup a minute later, but the home team answered on the other end with a three from Staplefield. Two more Endicott triples from sophomore Emily Pratt (Gardner, Mass.) and Staplefield late in the quarter helped the Gulls establish a 35-24 lead at the break.

Western New England began to chip away at its deficit early in the third quarter, as layups by Orbann and O'Neill brought the Golden Bears back to within seven (35-28) at the 7:45 mark. After closing the gap to five (37-32) on a jumper by sophomore Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) 1:13 later, Western New England eventually knotted the contest at 39-39 on an O'Neill three-pointer with 3:18 on the clock. The Gulls would go on to hold a four-point lead (47-43) heading into the fourth with the help of a layup by Lipscomb at the buzzer.

Notes
• Western New England shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the field and limited Endicott to 33.8 percent (23-of-68) shooting.
• O'Neill scored 23 of her 33 points in the second half, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
• The Gulls outrebounded the Golden Bears 46-33.

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday, as Western New England (7-5, 3-2 CCC) returns home to host Curry, and Endicott (6-5, 4-1 CCC) makes the short trip to Gordon.