WNE set to make 3rd CCC championship game appearance in last 4 years
BIDDEFORD, Maine (February 21, 2019) – The third-seeded Western New England University women's basketball team is heading back to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship game for the third time in the past four seasons after posting a 67-59 victory over second-seeded University of New England in the semifinal round on Thursday night at Harold Alfond Forum.
The Golden Bears (19-8) will travel to Beverly, Mass. on Saturday to face top-seeded Endicott College at 2 p.m. with the CCC title on the line. The Gulls defeated No. 5 seed Curry 67-51 in Thursday's other semifinal matchup. UNE's season comes to a close at 15-12.
Junior forward Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) led the Golden Bears with a game-high 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and five rebounds.
Junior forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) registered her sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) finished with 18 points, five assists and three steals.
UNE freshman guard Abby Cavallaro (South Portland, Maine) paced the Nor'easters with a team-high 19 points, six rebounds and two steals. Junior Ashley Coneys (Dover, N.H.) added 16 points, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks for the home team.
Western New England set the tone early with a dominant first quarter, as the Golden Bears shot 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the field and outscored the Nor'easters 23-12.
Farrell provided a spark with five points in the opening minute, and Carlson followed with two baskets before Orbann went 2-for-2 at the charity stripe to give Western New England an 11-4 lead.
The Golden Bears went up nine (15-6) following a Farrell layup with 4:23 left in the opening frame, before taking their first double-digit lead (23-12) on a Meghan Gilhool (Montrose, Pa.) layup in the final minute.
UNE chipped away at its deficit early in the second quarter, as freshman Allie Goodman (Durham, Maine) hit a three-pointer and Coneys followed with a layup to get the Nor'easters within six (23-17).
The home team was able to close the gap to four on a couple of occasions and eventually pulled to within three (29-26) when junior Jocelyn Chaput (Nashua, N.H.) connected from long range with 3:06 left in the half.
Sophomore Lauren Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) answered with a three-pointer for the Golden Bears to make it a six-point game, however, and Western New England led by the same margin (34-28) at the break.
The Golden Bears were able to regain the momentum with a strong third quarter.
After UNE opened the frame with a 5-2 spurt to again pull to within three (36-33), Western New England utilized a 7-0 run that started with a Carlson layup and ended with a Gilhool three-pointer, to restore the Golden Bears' ten-point cushion (43-33).
Another run late in the quarter, this time fueled by five points from Farrell, allowed Western New England to extend its advantage to a game-high 17 points (55-38) before two Coneys free throws in the closing seconds made it a 15-point game (55-40) heading into the fourth.
UNE made the game interesting in the final period, as the Nor'easters closed the gap to ten (57-47) with 5:36 to play and eventually got as close as two (61-59) with 1:19 remaining courtesy of Cavallaro, who drained a pair of three-pointers.
A clutch layup by Farrell, followed by a defensive stop and late free throws sealed the win, however, as the Golden Bears completed their wire-to-wire victory.
• The Golden Bears shot 46.9% (23-of-49) from the field while limiting the Nor'easters to a 34.4% clip.
• Western New England's trio of Carlson, Farrell & Orbann accounted for 53 of the team's 67 points.
• Since the 2016-17 campaign, the Golden Bears are 4-2 against the Nor'easters in Biddeford.