SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England University women's basketball team opened Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with a 60-49 victory over Roger Williams University on Saturday afternoon at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
Western New England was led by senior forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) and senior guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.). Orbann posted her first double-double of the season and ninth of her career with 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and one steal. Farrell scored a team-high 14 points to go along with four boards and four steals, while senior forward Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) and junior guard Lauren Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) contributed eight points each.
Three Hawks reached double-figures, including sophomore forward Karli Opalka (Southbury, Conn.), who fell one rebound short of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Sam Mancinelli (Peabody, Mass.) recorded ten points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Sam Leone (Ashland, Mass.) added ten points, three steals, two assists and two boards.
After falling behind 6-0 over the first minute of play, the Golden Bears put together a 14-0 run to claim a 14-6 lead with 3:21 to play in the opening quarter. Chadwick connected on a pair of three-pointers to fuel the surge, while Carlson chipped in with four points.
Western New England extended its advantage to ten (19-9) on a Julia Quinn (Thomaston, Conn.) triple with 1:12 left in the period, before Roger Williams senior guard Gabby Jerahian (Quincy, Mass.) knocked down a late three-pointer to cut the visitors' deficit to seven (19-12) heading into the second quarter.
Orbann scored the first five points of the second quarter to push Western New England's advantage back into double-figures (24-12). Leading 27-19 midway through the frame, the Golden Bears closed out the half with a 7-0 run to extend their advantage to 15 (34-19) at the break.
Roger Williams regained the momentum in the third quarter, however, as the Hawks outscored the Golden Bears 15-2 over the first seven and a half minutes of the period to close to within two (36-34) following an Opalka layup. Western New England was able to push its lead back to six (42-36) heading into the fourth as the Golden Bears closed out the quarter with a 6-2 run.
A pair of Jerahian free throws early in the fourth brought the Hawks to within four (42-38), but they would get no closer. Farrell responded with a three-pointer for the Golden Bears, and Western New England eventually extended its lead to ten (50-40) after Carlson sank 1-of-2 free throws with 6:15 remaining in the game. The Golden Bears maintained a comfortable lead down the stretch as they cruised to the conference win.
• Western New England has now won five consecutive games since falling to Springfield College on 11/12.
• The Golden Bears shot 43.8% from the field while limiting the Hawks to 28.6% shooting.
Western New England (6-1, 1-0 CCC) returns to action on Wednesday, as the Golden Bears host Salve Regina at 5:30 p.m. Roger Williams (3-4, 0-1 CCC) travels to Rhode Island College on Sunday.