SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Junior guard Lauren Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) hit a baseline jump shot with less than one second remaining to lift the Western New England University women's basketball team to a 45-43 victory over Worcester State University on Tuesday night in non-conference action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
The Golden Bears were led by junior forward Emily Scurka (Billerica, Mass.), who scored a game-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 15 minutes off the bench. Senior forward Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) paced the starting unit with 12 points, while senior forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and six steals.
For Worcester State, senior guard Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) scored a team-high 13 points to go with four boards, two steals and two blocks.
Worcester State got off to a strong start, as the Lancers shot 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the field in the opening frame and led 20-15 at the conclusion of the first quarter. Western New England struggled offensively with a 35.3 percent shooting effort, but Scurka provided eight points off the bench to keep the Golden Bears within striking distance.
The Lancers took their largest lead of the night (27-19) after sophomore Sarah Blomgren (Lunenburg, Mass.) completed a three-point play early in the second quarter. Western New England scored the next four points to close the gap to four (27-23) with 7:00 remaining in the half, and Sweeney answered with a layup for the visitors at the 6:02 mark to push the advantage back to six. Neither team scored over the remainder of the period as Worcester State led 29-23 at the break.
Three consecutive layups by Carlson to open the third quarter pulled the Golden Bears even with the Lancers at 29-29. Western New England then took its first lead of the night midway through the period when Orbann sank a pair of free throws. The lead changed hands four times late in the quarter, with the Golden Bears taking a 36-34 edge into the fourth following a layup by senior Alyssa Stefanelli (Chicopee, Mass.) with 31 seconds on the clock.
Western New England utilized a 7-0 spurt to start the fourth quarter to extend its lead to nine (43-34) with seven minutes left in the game. Worcester State began to chip away at its deficit, however, as the Golden Bears missed their next four shots and turned the ball over five times.
The Lancers were able to tie the contest with 28 seconds to play on a three-pointer by freshman guard Charlotte Macmillan (Brunswick, Maine). Following another Western New England turnover, Worcester State had a chance to take the lead late but senior guard Mya Mosley (Worcester, Mass.) missed a potential go-ahead layup. Senior guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) took the ball the length of the court on Western New England's final possession and drove to the hoop for a layup, but her attempt was too strong and Worcester State tipped the ball out of bounds with 2.4 seconds on the clock. On the ensuing inbound play, senior Sydney Fisher (Strafford, N.H.) found Chadwick and the junior buried the game-winning shot while fading towards the baseline.
• The win improves Western New England to 3-1 against Worcester State in the past four seasons.
• The Golden Bears shot just 32.8% from the field, but a strong defensive effort resulted in 27 Worcester State turnovers.
• After surrendering 20 points in the opening quarter, Western New England limited the Lancers to just 23 points the rest of the way.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, as Western New England (4-1) travels to Eastern Connecticut, and Worcester State (3-3) returns home to face Keene State.