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IN TRACK, FOUR FROM EASTERN QUALIFY FOR POST-SEASON AT CGA

 Gingras breaks 14-year-old high jump record as women take second

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gingras_closeupWEB7594.jpgNEW LONDON, Conn. -- Four members of the Eastern Connecticut State University indoor  track and field program qualified for post-season competition and freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) broke a 14-year-old record Saturday at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Winter Invitational at the Roland Field House.

At left: Cora Gingras. Above, right: Brian Lowe

 Gingras set a women's program standard with a jump of 5-feet-3 inches in the high jump en route to winning the event for the first time in four meets this season and becoming one of four post-season competition qualifiers on the afternoon. Gingras qualified for both New England Division III  and ECAC Division III competitions with her jump, which bested the previous mark by two inches set by Kim Jemmott in February of 1996.

She was joined as a post-season qualifier by freshman Ashlee Lecchi (Watertown) in the triple jump, first-year sophomore Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) in the pole vault and sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven) at 400 meters.

Lecchi became the fourth different individual from Eastern this year  to qualify for the New England meet in the triple jump, posting a mark of 32-8 ¼ in taking third place; Gibeault broke the eight-foot barrier for the first time in her short career, jumping 8-feet-6 inches in the pole vault in a second-place finish behind senior Erika Barber (Portland) to attain the standard for competing in next month's New England Division III Championships; Pates sprinted to a personal-best time of 51.77 in capturing second place in a field of 11 and qualifying for the New England Division III Championships at 400 meters.

With Lecchi, Gingras and junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) combining for 60 points, the women's team totalled 154 to finish just two points shy of champion Westfield State College. For the men, first-year junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) collected 18 ½ points in three events and triple jump record-holder Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) totaled 16 in three events as the Warriors registered 87 ½ points in a fourth-place finish in a field of four.

Having already qualified for the New England meet at both 200 and 400 meters, Petrizzo won both events Saturday. She outran a field of 19 in the 200 (27.87) and a field of 11 in the 400 (1:04.79). She joined Barber (9-11 ¾), Gingras and senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) as individual winners on the women's side. Barber was the top finisher for the tenth time in her career in the pole vault and for the eighth consecutive time in regular-season invitational and dual meet competition. Brautigam led the field in the 55 meter hurdles (9.47) for the second time in her four-year career.

In addition to the triple jump, Lecchi accumulated her additional points by placing second in the long jump (eight points) and second to Brautigam in the 55 meter hurdles (eight points). Gingras added eight more points by placing fourth in both the long jump and triple jump. Sophomore Sarah Joy (Stratford) gave the Warriors a 1-2-3 finish in the 55 meter hurdles, submitting a third-place finish behind Brautigam and Lecchi.

A first-year transfer from Central Connecticut State University, Lowe won at 200 meters (23.63) for the first time at Eastern, out-sprinting a field of 17. He was also second among 16 at 55 meters on the way to his team-high point total.  After setting, then improving upon the program record in the triple jump each of the previous two weeks, Fitzpatrick won his first collegiate event with a mark of 42-11 in the triple jump.  His program record is 44-10 ¾.Fitzpatrick was also third in the long jump in a field of 15.

Freshman Tim Callahan (Portland) added seven points to the men's total with a second-place finish in a field of 12 at 600 meters, and freshman Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) added six points. He was fifth in the high jump and seventh in the long jump.

Eastern competes at Springfield College Saturday at 11 a.m. in its final tune-up for the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships Feb. 13 at the Costello Complex on the University of Southern Maine campus.


 

EASTERN W-SWIMMING BREAKS TWO RECORDS AT ROGER WILLIAMS

Curran betters own mark in 200 back; 200 medley relay sets new standard

curran_raw_1950.jpgBRISTOL, R.I. - Junior Katie  Curran WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg(Norwood, MA) broke her own record in the 200 yard backstroke and swam the opening leg of the record-setting 200 yard medley relay when the Eastern Connecticut State University swim team dropped a 154 ½-125 ½ decision to Roger Williams University Saturday afternoon at  the Campus Recreation Center on the RWU campus.

At left: Katie Curran

Curan broke her own record in the 200 backstroke which she had set Dec. 5 at the Little East Conference Championships with a time of 2:20.21, eclipsing her former best by .29. The Warriors opened the meet by winning the 200 yard medley relay in a time of 1:57.76, 1.09 seconds faster than the previous record set at last year's New England Championships. It was the first relay record broken this season. Curran, senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington), junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford), and senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) contributed to the new standard. All but Doheny were members of the previous record-holding relay.

Fourteen of Eastern's (6-3) points came in the 100 yard breaststroke, where Eastern swimmers took three of the five scoring spots. Wilson won the event, with freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport) second and senior Maureen Cop (Southington) fifth. Wilson was just .10 off her program-record mark in that event. The Warriors added 13 points in the 200 yard medley relay, taking first and third; twelve in the 200 yard breaststroke and 12 in the 100 yard butterfly. Senior Sarah Dombrowski (Southington) won the 200 breaststroke and O'Kelly was third; Arisco captured the 100 butterfly and sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock) was third.

In addition to the 100 butterfly, Arisco was first in the 400 yard individual medley and shared first place in the 50 yard freestyle; and Doheny won both the 100 and 200 yard freestyle and was second in the 50 freestyle.

Arisco collected 24 ½ of the team's points, Doheny 22, and Wilson 14. All three also contributed to the winning relay,, which totaled 11 points.

Eighteen of Roger Williams' (5-3) points came in two diving events. Eastern does not sponsor diving. With the victory, Roger Williams evens the all-time series at 3-3.

Eastern closes out the regular season Wednesday at Western New England College at 7 p.m. and competes in the NEISDA Division II-III Championships Feb. 19-21 at Hartford, VT.

 

PLYMOUTH TIPS EASTERN MEN'S BASKETBALL IN OVERTIME, 77-75

O'Keefe forces overtime with two free throws, Lambert wins it with 0.5 left

rovetochergey72dpi_2213.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Jason O'Keefe sank two free throws with 3.3 seconds left to force LEClogo-1WEB.jpgovertime and  Ryan Lambert hit a game-winning bucket from the top of the key with 0.;5 seconds left in overtime to give Plymouth State University a 77-75 Little East Conference men's baskeball victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Bill Roveto, one of the team's top defensive players and rebounders, defends against Plymouth leading scorer Mike Chergey Saturday. (Chris Ganoe photo)

Eastern (13-6, 5-4 little east) led by six points with one minute left in regulation in a game which featured 13 lead changes, but Plymouth (12-7, 5-4 little east) outscored Eastern 9-3 the rest of the way to force overtime Bryan Tracy scored five points in the run and Eric Hondal two and O'Keefe forced overtime when he swished two free throws with 3.3 seconds left. Eastern senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) had given Eastern a 68-66 lead with two free throws with 4.8 seconds left, but O'Keefe was fouled when trying to score in traffic on a long, well-placed in-bounds pass from Tracy with the clock winding down. Eastern sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) saved the game at that point by fouling O'Keefe under the basket on what appeared to be a certain hoop, but O'Keefe converted both free throws. Nedwick's three-point field goal from the left side at the horn bounced off the rim.

In overtime, Hondal converted two free throws to tie the game for the tenth time with 1:19 left. With the game tied, Eastern couldn't score on its final two possessions, missing a shot and turning the ball over.  With 27 seconds left, Lambert blocked a shot by Nedwick and O'Keefe grabbed the rebound to set up Lambert's game-winning shot with 0.5 left. With Eastern needing to go the length of the floor, Bill Roveto's (South Windsor) long pass to Mike Garrow (Terryville) was batted away by Tom Dowd as the horn sounded.

Plymouth connected on all 11 of its free throws after the break, with Bill Stowell and O'Keefe each canning all four of their tries in the second half. Plymouth played the final 5:36 of regulation and all of overtime without 6-foot-6 inch top scorer Mike Chergey, who fouled out with 5:36 left in a tie game.

Lambert, who came off the bench, scored 12 of his 14 points after the break, but his game-winning field goal was his only points of overtime. Ortiz scored 22 of his game-high 27 points after the break, finishing with five three-pointers in ten tries and seven rebounds. He was 5-for-6 from the foul line in overtime. With his seventh  point of the game, Ortiz became the ninth player in program history with 1,300 career points. With 27 points, Ortiz moved ahead of Eastern Hall of Famers Louis Canady and Frank Johndrow on the all-time list and is now  seventh all-time, 22 behind Hall of Famer Ron Pires, ranked sixth.

Eastern and Plymouth are two of three teams locked in fourth place in the conference. Rhode Island College's 62-61 victory at UMass Dartmouth snaps a two-way tie for the conference lead between those teams.

Plymouth, beaten by Eastern, 77-61 Dec. 12 at Plymouth, NH, snapped a two-game losing streak. Eastern has lost three in a row and lost for the first time at home after four straight wins.-

EASTERN COMPLETES SEASON SWEEP OF PLYMOUTH IN 71-58 WIN

Starters are 26-for-31 from FT line as Warriors improve their lot in LEC

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team is not the best free-throw shooting team in the Little East Conference. But on Saturday, it was, and for that reason, the Warriors moved a step closer in the race for the conference regular-season championship.

Saturday, the Warriors sank a season-high 30 free throws in completing a Little East Conference regular-season sweep of Plymouth State University, 71-58, at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Jessica Moriarty (15) and the Warriors were 30-for-35 from the foul line Saturday. (Chris Ganoe photo)

Eastern's (13-5, 7-2 little east) starters connected on 26 of 31 shots from the stripe as the Warriors extended their  seven-year winning streak over Plymouth (14-6, 4-5 little east) to 15 games.  The win snaps a two-game losing streak for Eastern, which pulls to within a game of conference leader Western Connecticut State University. The Colonials lost their first conference game in nine tries Saturday when they were upended by homestanding Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Eastern also moved two games ahead of defending LEC tournament champion University of Southern Maine, which lost a 69-62 road decision to pre-season conference favorite Keene State College. Plymouth drops into a two-way tie for fifth place with Rhode Island College.

Eastern scored 17 points in the first half on 14 Plymouth turnovers. The Warriors got 13 first-half points from freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) and outscored Plymouth 14-1 from the foul line to take a ten-point lead into the break, and withstood several Plymouth bids in the second half. Eastern led by 11 points with seven minutes left but needed to score the final seven points of the game to finally ice the win. Plymouth shot just 22.6 percent from the floor in the second half and Eastern turned the ball over only six times over the final 20 minutes.

At the foul line, Kelleher was perfect on seven free throw attempts en route to a career-high 15 points. Junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) was 8-for-10 from the stripe in posting a game-high 18 points; junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) was 7-for-8 from the line and also grabbed a game and season-high rebounds and finished with 14 points.

Plymouth, which is the top-ranked free-throw shooting team in the conference, kept within striking distance throughout by nearly matching Eastern's free throw percentage. The Panthers were 16-of-19 from the stripe. Amanda Kania, Alicia Doucet and Laura Kent combined for 37 of Plymouth's points, with Doucet grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. The trio was 14-for-16 from the foul line.

Eastern visits Vassar College Tuesday at 6 p.m.

EASTERN VOLLEYBALL ALUMNUS NATIONAL COACH-OF-THE-YEAR

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Former Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgstandout and current University of Indianapolis head volleyball coach Jody (Rogers) Butera has been named NCAA Division II National Coach-of-the-Year by the American Volleyball Coaches' Association.

In her 13th season at Indianapolis, the former Eastern volleyball star led the Greyhounds to an overall record of 38-2 this past fall and into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II tournament. The team won its second Great Lakes Valley Conference title and first Midwest Regional championship in advancing to the the national quarterfinals for the first time. The Greyhounds were ranked sixth in the final AVCA Division II national poll.

Photo of Jody Roger Butera courtesy of Indianapolis Sports Information. 

"The student-athletes that I coached this season deserve the credit," said the Framingham, MA native, who played the 1991 and 1992 volleyball seasons at Eastern under Hall of Fame coach Floretta Crabtree after transferring from Miami Dade Community College. "The players and our coaching staff worked extremely hard every day."

Butera has compiled a record of 324-155 for a .675 winning percentage at Indianapolis, which is her first head college coaching position.

At Eastern, Butera helped the Warriors to two ECAC tournament berths and an overall record of 68-21. As a senior co-captain in 1992, she was named honorable mention All-New England and to the NEWVA Senior Classic and earned an Eastern E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award. In only a two-year Eastern career, Butera still ranks fourth all-time in service aces and tenth in digs.

"Jody led by example athletically and academically and was the best defensive player we ever had in the program and one of the strongest servers," points out Crabtree, who won over 600 matches in 22 years before retiring following the 1996 season.

At Eastern, Jody was joined by sister Wendy, an Eastern Hall of Famer who led the Eastern basketball team to consecutive Final Four berths and was named honorable mention All-America and ECAC New England Player-of-the-Year as a senior in 1991/92.

 

FOR EASTERN M-BASKETBALL, RALLY FALLS SHORT IN 78-73 LOSS

Western finds free-throw touch in final  25 seconds to deny Warriors

ortizric_4146.jpgDANBURY, Conn. - The Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team didn't LEClogo-1WEB.jpglook like one of the top free-throw shooting teams in the Little East Conference Tuesday night, but managed to re-gain its touch in the final 25 seconds to stave off a second-half rally by Eastern Connecticut State University and record a 78-73 victory at Feldman Arena.

At left: Edwin Ortiz (Cris Yarborough photo)

Ranked second in the conference in free-throw shooting, Western (12-4, 5-3 little east) missed seven of its first 11 free throws until canning five of six over the final 25 seconds to hold off Eastern (13-5, 5-3 little east) and pull even with the Warriors into second place in the conference. The teams are one game behind co-leaders UMass Dartmouth and Rhode Island College. UMass pulled into a tie for first with a 91-89 road win over Rhode Island.

Eastern senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the final 17 minutes to pull to within seven points of becoming the ninth player in program history with 1,300 career points. Ortiz was 4-for-6 from three-point range in the second half, 5-for-10 in the game.

Western used run of seven straight points early in the second half to expand a five-point halftime lead to double figures and later jacked the lead to 16,56-40, with 11:30 left. Western still led by ten with 3:30 left before Ortiz hit a drive following a steal by junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown),  sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) scored in the paint off a steal by Ortiz, and freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) scored off a put-back as Eastern cut the deficit to four, 70-66 with two minutes left. Trailing by five with the ball, Eastern was whistled for a critical offensive foul with 29 seconds left, and conference free throw leader DaQuan Brookes sank a pair to make it 75-68. Tyshawn Gillespire followed with two more free throws nine seconds later, and Brooks converted one of two with ten seconds left to seal the Western win.

Western bettered its conference-leading field shooting by scoring on 50.8 percent of its field goals.. Brooks was 7-for-14 from the floor for a team-high 19 points, Gillespie 5-for-7 for 15 points. Wilburt Jarrett was 5-for-8 and Leroy Mayers came off the bench to connect on half of his ten field goal attempts to add 11 points each for Western.

Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) followed Ortiz with 19 points before foouling out with Eastern down by six with 16 seconds left. He was 7-for-12 from the floor and combined to go 9-for-9 from the free throw line with Ortiz and also shared game-high assist honors with junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor), with four.  Sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) had ten points and shared game-high rebounding honors with six in 18 minutes off the bench.

For the fourth time in five games, Eastern shot well over .700 from the free throw line. The Warriors were 17-for-22 (.773), Western 9-for-17 (.529).

Since snapping a seven-game losing streak at the hands of Western, Eastern has split its last six meetings with the Colonials.

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University Saturday at 3 p.m.


 

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL DROPS SECOND STRAIGHT IN LEC, 55-44

Despite strong defense, Warriors muster little offense against Western

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgDANBURY, Conn. --  Eastern Connecticut State University's second-ranked defense held LEClogo-1WEB.jpgWestern Connecticut State University's top-ranked offense 18 points below its season average but the Warriors' offense sputtered for the second straight game in a 55-44 Little East Conference women's basketball loss Tuesday evening at Feldman Arena.

The loss is Eastern's (12-5, 6-2 little east) second straight following a nine-game win streak as the Warriors fall two games behind Western (17-2, 8-0 little east) in the race for the conference regular-season championship. Western has won 14 in a row, having beaten the three teams rated higher in the conference pre-season poll a total of four times (three by double digits). The Colonials are bidding for their first LEC regular-season title since 1999/00, when they won by three games before losing in the semifinals of the LEC tournament as the No. 1 seed.

While Eastern forced LEC scoring leader Heather Lee into 1-for-15 shooting and only five points, the Colonials rode the game-high 25-point effort of junior guard Karli Spera to its first victory over Eastern after losses in each of the last four meetings. Spera, this past week's LEC co-Player-of-the-Week, was 11-for-21 from the floor (3-for-6 from three-point range), teaming with 6-foor-2 inch junior center Melissa Teel to pace the Western offense. Ranked sixth in the LEC in scoring and first in rebounding and blocked shots, Teel had 15 points, grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and swatted nine of her team's 11 blocked shots.

Spera and Teel combined for all but 15 of Western's points, with the Colonials' other three starters managing only 11 point and ten rebounds.

Spera's three-pont field goal midway through the first half gave the hosts the lead for good and Western outscored Eastern 20-11 the rest of the half to take an eight-point, 34-26 lead into the break. Spera's 17 points represented half of Western's first-half total.

Freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) led Eastern with a career-high 14 points (6-of-9 from the floor), junior guard Brittany Whitley (Windsor Locks) adding 11.Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven), junior post player Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) and Kelleher combined for 22 rebounds. Moriarty had a team-high eight, Pierlioni and Kelleher seven each.

Since moving into the starting lineup over the last four games, Kelleher is averaging 9.5 points and 7.0 rebounds and is shooting 56.0 percent from the floor and 76.9 percent from the foul line.

Trailing by eight at the break, the Warriors shot 26.1 percent and turned the ball over 13 times in the second half and were never able to make a serious run. After sinking two of its first three shots of the second half, Eastern missed nine shots in a  row and commited seven turnovers over the next eight minutes and trailed by 11 midway through the half.

Eastern's defense, ranked second in the conference, kept Western's top-ranked offense 18 points below its season average, but the Warriors were held under 50 points for the second straight game. Although Eastern has shot better from the floor and has outrebounded its last two opponents in its losses, the Warriors have commited 51 turnovers - more than twice the number of its opponent. Eastern's opponents have scored 42 points off those turnovers while the Warriors have managed only 12 points off turnovers in those games.

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

RICKETTS, FITZPATRICK GAIN WEEKLY LEC M-TRACK HONORS

They break 55 and triple jump records, respectively, at Springfield Invite

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Fitzpatrick (left), Ricketts (below)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  Sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) and freshman WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgJoshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) of Eastern Connecticut State University  have been selected  for weekly men's track and field honors by the Little East Conference for their performances at Saturday's Springfield College Invitational.

    ricketts_head72dpi_x9756.jpg                          Ricketts was named Track Athlete-of-the-Week and Fitzpatrick Rookie Field Athlete-of-the-Week for their record-breaking performances following a six-week layoff at the Springfield College Invitational Saturday. The honor is the second this season for Ricketts.

Ricketts, who achieved All-New England recognition in three events outdoors as a freshman, ran to a second-place finish Saturday  in a field of 31 in a record time of 6.45 -- .02 seconds behind winner Steve Headley of Springfield, who was timed in 6.24 in winning last year's NCAA Division III national championship as a junior. Ricketts' previous record of 6.46 was set in the season-opener Dec. 5 at Springfield and made him a provisional qualifier for national competition.

Fitzpatrick broke the triple jump record for the second time in as many meets. He placed third in a field of 16 with a mark of 44-10 ¾, six inches farther than his previous record set Dec. 10 at Springfield.

In the meet, Ricketts collected nine points with his second-place finish in the 55 and with a six-place finish in a field of 28 at 200 meters. Fitzpatrick participated in three individual events.  In addition to the triple jump, Fitzpatrick he competed in the long jump  and pole vault.

BARBER FEELING RIGHT AT HOME AT SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE INVITATIONAL

Eastern pole vaulter makes it 5-for-5 in women's track at facility

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Eastern finishers.pdf

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  Eastern Connecticut State University senior Erika Barber (Portland) feels right at home at the Springfield College Field House. For the fifth time in as many meets in the two-year-old facility - the third time this season -- Barber has won the pole vault event.

Saturday, Barber out-jumped a field of 15 to claim the pole vault title for the ninth time in her career as the Warriors returned from a six-week layoff by placing fifth in a six-team invitational. Eastern totaled 39 points while Bowdoin College's 196 points bested the field - 34 ½ points better than host Springfield.

Barber's winning mark of 9-6 ¼ Saturday was six inches better than her nearest competitor and came one year almost to the day after she set her current program record of 10-2 at Springfield. Barber vaulted 10-0 in winning at Springfield in this year's previous two meets.

In her first try at 400 meters this year, All-New England junior sprinter Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) qualified for the New England Division III Championship in that event with a mark of 1:03.06 that carried her to a second-place finish and earned her eight points among 18 participants behind Bowdoin College sophomore Elsa Millett. Millett was third in last year's New England championship, Petrizzo eighth.

Others contributing to Eastern's point total were senior Monica Mills (East Hartford) in the triple jump, senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) and sophomore Sarah Joy (Stratford) in the 55 meter hurdles, freshman Ashlee Lecchi (Watertown) in the long jump and triple jump, and the 4x400 meter relay team.

The program record-holder in the triple jump (35-2 ½) , Mills was third among nine competitors with a mark of 33-9 ¼; Brautigam and Joy both advanced to the finals of the 55 hurdles and placed fourth (9.61) and fifth (9.80), respectively, in a field of 16; Lecchi, who joined the program last Monday, was sixth among 18 in the long jump (15-4 ¼) and fifth in a field of nine in the triple jump (32-1).. Sparking the 4x400 meter relay to third place in a time of 4:26.59 were junior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), freshman Christine Charpentier (Monroe), Mills, and Petrizzo.

Eastern visits the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Saturday at noon.


 

RICKETTS, FITZPATRICK BREAK OWN PROGRAM RECORDS AT SPRINGFIELD

Eastern m-track athletes break their own records set earlier this year

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Eastern finishers.pdf

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  Sophomore Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) and freshman WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgJoshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) broke their own program records in the 55 meters and in the triple jump, respectively, for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field team Saturday at the Springfield College Field House.

Above Joshua Fitzpatrick

Following a six-week layoff, Eastern finished last in a six-team invitational field, totaling 31 points. Host Springfield College had a meet-high 129 points, 25 more than Bowdoin College.

Ricketts, who achieved All-New England recognition in three events outdoors as a freshman, ran to a second-place finish in a field of 31 in a record time of 6.45 -- .02 seconds behind winner Steve Headley of Springfield, who was timed in 6.24 in winning last year's NCAA Division III national championship as a junior. Ricketts' previous record of 6.46 was set in the season-opener Dec. 5 at Springfield and made him a provisional qualifier for national competition.

Fitzpatrick broke the triple jump record for the second time in as many meets. He placed third in a field of 16 with a mark of 44-10 ¾, six inches farther than his previous record set Dec. 10 at Springfield.

All-New England sophomore sprinter Nick Pates (East Haven) qualified for the New England Division III Championship at 200 meters with a personal best time of 23.39 which netted him a fifth-place finish in a field of 28. He was also seventh at 400 meters among 22 participants.

Ricketts collected nine points with his second-place finish in the 55 and with a six-place finish in a field of 28 at 200 meters. Eastern runners took 5-6-7 at 200 meters, with first-year junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) following Pates and Ricketts at the tape.

In addition to Ricketts, Lowe qualified for the finals of the 55, placing fourth.

Sophomore Bryan King (New Milford) submitted the program's first recorded pentathlon finish. King totaled 2,466 points. He was third in the high jump and shot put, fourth in the 1,000 meters and 55 meter hurdles and fifth in the long jump.

Others contributing to Eastern's point total were freshman Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard), who was fourth in a field of 17 in the 55 meter hurdles;, freshman Prince-Michael Marston (Kingston, Jamaica) with a fifth-place finish among 22 at 400 meters, and the 4x400 relay team, which was fourth. Running the relay were Pates, junior Mike D'Elia (Windham), freshman Tim Callahan (Portland), and Marston.

Fitzpatrick and freshman Alex Verrill (Hiram ME) each participated in three individual events.  In addition to the triple jump, Fitzpatrick participated in the long jump  and pole vault; Verrill ran the 55 meters and was also involved in the long and triple jumps.

Eastern visits the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Saturday at noon.

 

SENIORS HONORED AT BANQUET

Alumni Newsletter Winter-Spring 2010.pdf

Highlight Video: 2009 Season in Review!

seniorswithframe72dpi_2027.jpgThe five outgoing seniors were honored during the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team banquet Sunday. Displaying replica game jerseys (from left): Chris Bourdeau, Maxim Fantl, Nicholas Boretti, Sean Capezzone and Rick Emery. The Warriors won their second Little East Conference championship in three years last fall, participating in the NCAA tournament and tyng the program record with 16 victories.

GEITNER ON 'HOOPSVILLE' PPD.

Eighth-year head coach to be interviewed on D3Hoops.com Sunday night

Link to 'Hoopsville'hoopsville_logo.png

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POSTPONED

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eighth-year Eastern Connecticut State University head men's basketball coach Bill Geitner will be interviewed on D3Hoops.com's 'Hoopsville' Sunday night, January 24 during the twice-weekly talk show which runs between 7 and 9 p.m.

At left: Bill Geitner (Cris Yarborough photo)

Dave McHugh hosts the show, which discusses national Division III men's and women's basketball topics. He will devote a 15-minute segment of the show to his interview with Geitner. Listeners will be invited to e-mail and/or IM questions and discussion points during the show. Those  links are available on the 'Hoopsville' web site.

On the D3Hoops.com web site, the 'Hoopsville' link is located in the far right-hand menu under the 'columns' heading.

The Warriors have already surpassed last year's win total and bring an overall record of 13-4 into Tuesday's Little East Conference game at Western Connecticut State University at 7:30 p.m. With a 5-2 conference record, Eastern shares second place  with defending LEC tournament champion UMass Dartmouth -- one game behind defending LEC regular-season champion Rhode Islalnd College.

 

 

 

 

EASTERN MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS FROM FIRST PLACE IN 72-71 LOSS

In battle of Little East co-leaders, RIC holds on to re-gain sole possession

www.yarbz.com/easternvrhodeisland

 

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgPROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Rhode Island College men's basketball team won the Little East Conference regular season a year ago. And although  they lost a number of key players from that team, the Anchormen still know something about winning. And winning close games.

At right: Mike Garrow drives for two of his 14 second-half points en route to a career-high 17 Saturday against Rhode Island College.(Cris Yarborough photo)

For the second time in as many games this year, Rhode Island (12-5, 6-1 little east) prevailed down the stretch against Eastern Connecticut State University (13-4, 5-2 little east). Saturday, the hosts rode to a 12-point lead early in the second half, and escaped with a tight 72-71 decision in a battle of teams sharing first place.

It was the first time this year that Eastern has been swept in seven conference doubleheaders in men's and women's basketball. The Warriors had swept six and split one.

Eastern had climbed into a share of first place with Rhode Island last Saturday with a victory over the University of Southern Maine that was coupled with RIC's loss to Plymouth State.  The teams remained deadlocked at the top after both clubs won mid-week conference games.

Saturday, junior Darius Debnam sank the back end of a two-shot foul with three seconds left to break a tie and provide the hosts with the one-point win. An offensive rebound and putback by Eastern freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) had pulled Eastern even at 71-71 with 24 seconds left, but Debnam was fouled with the clock winding down. He missed the first shot but connected on the second.

The loss was the first in the last six games for Eastern, playing its first road game since upending defending LEC playoff champion UMass Dartmouth by six points 11 days ago. Rhode Island has won seven of its last eight.

Rhode Island defeated Eastern in this year's home-and-home set by a total of three points, using different routes to record the key victory. Saturday, the Anchormen built a substantial second-half lead, and hung on. Six weeks ago at Geissler Gym in the conference opener for both teams, they roared back from a 17-point deficit in the opening minutes of the second half, finally outscoring the Warriors 14-2 over the final three minutes with the help of seven Eastern turnovers in an eventual 89-87 victory.

Saturday, it was Eastern's turn to reverse a double-digit deficit as the Warriors used a 12-2 burst to take what would eventually prove to be its only second half lead, 63-62. With Eastern trailing by nine with nine minutes left, junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) sandwiched two baskets around his own steal to cut the deficit to five. Garrow followed with the same formula, stealing the ball and clicking on a three-pointer  to make it a two-point game. Rhode Island junior Carl Lee then stopped the bleeding by scoring upon his insertion into the lineup, but sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) buried a three-point on the Warriors' next possession, then turned a missed RIC shot into a two-point basket as Eastern surged into the lead with six minutes left.

Eastern trailed by four in the final minute but Nedwick gave the Warriors life again  with a follow-up three-pointer with 40 seconds later. An RIC free throw made it 71-69 before Garrow hauled in a rebound and put it back in to tie the game for the sixth time with 24 seconds left.

Nedwick and Garrow each had 17 points for Eastern, with Simmons finishing wth 11. After dumping in 14 points in Tuesday's LEC triumph over visiting Keene State College, Garrow improved his career-high for the second straight game. Simmons handed out five assists and junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

Eastern turned the ball over only 11 times in the game (its second-lowest number of the year), resulting in only seven Rhode Island points off of those miscues.

With 14 points, sophomore Mason Choice was among four Rhode Island players in double figures. Junior Nick Manson added 13 and Lee and sophomore Mike Akinrola 12 each. Senior Jake Grimes missed eight of ten field goals but finished with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Eastern visits Western Connecticut State University Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


 

IT'S EASTERN SENIORS' MOMENT

In final home swim meet of their careers, seniors lead Warriors to victory

seniorsswim72dpi_1908.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The largest senior class in the 14-year history of the Eastern Connecticut State University women's swim program closed out a perfect home season Saturday with an easy 118-82 victory over Western Connecticut State University at the Sports Center Pool.

Above: Head coach Maureen Fahey with her six seniors (from left): Jessica Wilson, Carol Ann Smith, Katherine Redman, Sarah Dombrowski, Maureen Cop, and Kelsy Doheny.

Led by senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven), Eastern (6-2) swimmers had the fastest times in ten of 12 individual events, as well as both relays in dowing Western (3-3) for the 13th time in 17 dual meets in this series. 

Doheny, one of six Eastern swimmers closing out their careers, swam the fastest time in the 50, 100 and 200 yard freestyle while junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) had the fastest times in the 100 backstroke and 200 yard individual medley and junior Amy Arisco (Walllingford) in the 50 and 100 yard butterfly.

 

In the 200 backstroke, Curran finished just shy of her program record of 2:20.50 with a second-place time of 2:20.57. Freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport) also challenged her own program record of 2:35.71 in the 200 yard breaststroke by logging a winning time of 2:36.68. In addition to winning two individual events, Arisco contributed to the 200 yard medley relay and 800 yard freestyle relays which were both first at the finish line.

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In addition to Doheny, seniors wrapping up their home careers were Maureen Cop (Southington), Sarah Dombrowski (Southington), Katherine Redman (Wallingford), Carol Ann Smith (Newtown) and Jessica Wilson (Torrington). Swimming the 100 yard breaststroke for the final time at home, Wilson posted a winning time of   1:13.80, two seconds shy of her program record.

 

Above: For head coach Maureen Fahey and the Warriors, Saturday was all about the seniors.

 

Senior Katie Meleg (Danbury) won both of Western's events: the 200 yard backstroke (2:18.95) and the 500 yard freestyle (5:38.98).

 

The Warriors finished the season by winning all five of their home dual meets this year. Eastern visits Roger Williams University Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL TRIPPED UP BY RHODE ISLAND, 58-46

kelleher_head72dpi_8585.jpgPROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Senior guard Denise Scott recorded her second 20-point game this LEClogo-1WEB.jpgyear against Eastern Connecticut State University to help Rhode Island College knock the Warriors out of a share  of first place in the Little East Conference women's basketball standings with a 58-46 victory Saturday afternoon at the Murray Center.

Above: Lauren Kelleher

The loss ends Eastern's (12-4, 6-1 little east) nine-game winning streak this year and a streak of 17 consecutive regular-season conference games dating back to last Jan. 13. Coupled with Eastern's loss, Western Connecticut  (16-2, 7-0 little east) assumed sole possession of first place with a 67-50 home win over defending conference tournament champion University of Southern Maine Saturday.

Rhode Island (10-7, 2-5 little east) snapped a four-game losing streak with the win, with three of those losses coming by a total of 13 points to first division teams in the conference.

Eastern had beaten Rhode Island the previous six times the teams had met, and escaped with a 59-55 home victory December 5 despite turning the ball over a season-high 32 times. Saturday, the Warriors weren't as lucky, as their 26 turnovers (Rhode Island commited only 11) translated into 22 opposing points. 

Freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) and junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) combined for 21 of Eastern's 39 rebounds, with Kelleher pulling down a career-high 11. Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) was Eastern's only player in double figures, with 13 points. Moriarty converted all three of the team's three-pointers and sank half of her eight field goals, but she turned the ball over eight times and didnt' have a steal in 38 minutes. Four of Eastern's starters played at least 36 minutes.

Eastern's defense was able to shut down top RIC scorers Stephanie Coro and Rachel Riley --  --- who combined for only nine points on 4-for-17 shooting from the floor, the but the Warriors had no answer for Scott again.After scoring 20 points in her team's earlier loss to Eastern, Scott had a game-high 22 this time on 8-for-13 shooting from the floor. She was also one of four Rhode Island players with five rebounds, handed out four assists and collected two steals with just one turnover in 38 minutes.

Leading 22-18 at halftime, Rhode Island never trailed in the second half. The hosts scored six straight points to extend a three-point lead to nine, 37-28, midway through the half, with Scott scoring  the first four points of that run on the way to a game-high 22 poiints (8-of-13 from the floor). 

Rhode Island's bench players outscored Eastern's reserves 15-2 in the second half.

Eastern visits Western Connecticut Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

 


 

EASTERN SWIMMING UNCHALLENGED

Warriors record fastest times in all 14 events in 145-92 home victory

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menard72dpi_1864.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Four Eastern Connecticut State University women's swimmers recorded their fastest times of the year in winning performances as the Warriors were unchallenged in a 145-92 victory over Saint Joseph College (CT) Wednesday night at the Sports Center Pool.

Above: Nadine Menard

Eastern (5-2) swimmers posted the fastest times in all 14 events but swam the final four events on an exhibition basis. Saint Joseph is 0-4 in dual meets this year.

Registering their fastest times this year in winning efforts were senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) in the 50 yard butterfly, junior Maria Altieri (Hamden) in the 1,000 yard freestyle, junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford) in the 200 yard freestyle, and sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock) in the 200 yard butterfly.

Doheny outswam everyone in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle and 50 yard butterfly and also contributed to the 200 yard freestyle relay; Arisco topped the field in the 200 yard freestyle and 200 yard individual medley and swan the final leg of the 200 yard medley relay; senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) had the fastest times in the 50 yard breaststroke and 400 yard individual medley and contributed to both relays; and junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA) won the 50 and 200 yard backstroke and swam the opening leg of the 200 yard medley relay

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In two dual meets since returning from from a week-long training session in Florida, 17 Eastern swimmers -- five of them freshmen --have swam their fastest times of the season in 28 events, with 25 of those times proving to be personal career records. Freshman Julie Pietrycha (Newington) has established personal bests in four events and freshman Darcy Jensen (Orange) in three, with senior Sarah Dombrowski (Southington), sophomore Samantha Armitage (Bristol), and freshman Corri McDonald (North Haven) submitting their best times ever in two events.

At right: Darcy Jensen

Pietrycha clocked her personal bests in the 50 yard breaststroke and 100 yard free style against Saint Joseph and her personal bests in the 100 and 200 yard breaststoke last Saturday against Keene State College. Jensen submitted her best career performances in the 50 and 200 yard backstroke against Saint Joseph and in the 200 yard freestyle against Keene.

At least one Eastern swimmer was timed in a personal best in 11 of 12 individual events against Saint Joseph. In Wednesday's 100 yard freestyle, Menard, Altieri, Pietrycha and McDonald all posted their career-bests, with Pietrycha knocking nearly three seconds of her previous best. 

Eastern closes out its home season Saturday at 1 p.m. against Western Connecticut State University. Closing out home careers in that meet is the largest senior class in program history: Maureen Cop (Southington), Doheny, Dombrowski, Katherine Redman (Wallingford), Carol Ann Smith (Newtown) and Jessica Wilson (Torrington). Five of the six are four-year veterans of the program. .

Nedwick leads five double-digit scorers with career-high 36 in wild win

nedwick72dpi_1701.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - One of the   LEClogo-1WEB.jpgtoughest defensive players in the Little East Conference, sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) rolled out his offensive skills Tuesday night, pouring in six three-point field goals on the way to a career-high 36 points as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team outgunned Keene State College, 91-86, in a conference game at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Keene's approach to stopping Nick Nedwick Tuesday night was strictly a hands-off one. (Nicholas Noheimer photo)

A member of the conference All-Defensive Team as a freshman last year, the 6-foot-1 inch Nedwick played strong first-half defense on Keene sophomore forward Derek D'Amours despite giving away four inches to help the Warriors roll up an 11-point lead late in the opening half. D'Amours, the LEC's second-ranked scorer, had only one field goal and three points in the first half before scoring 18 in the second half on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor.

After scoring 14 points in the first half on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor, Nedwick turned it up a notch after the break by scoring 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting (4-for-4 from three-point range) as the Warriors withstood Keene's second half challenge in an effort to gain revenge for a 20-point loss a year ago to the Warriors at Geissler Gym.

Nedwick points came on a combination of long-range baskets and drives to the basket (a 70 percent free-throw shooter, Nedwick missed five of nine free throws which may have cost him a 40-point night).

Eastern (13-3, 5-1 little east) maintained a share of the top spot in the conference with its fifth straight win - matching its season-opening winning streak. The Warriors and  defending conference regular-season champion Rhode Island College share the top spot. The Anchormen routed Western Connecticut State University, 81-65, Tuesday night in Danbury. Keene State (8-8, 2-4 little east) remains in sixth place in the eight-team conference.

By clicking on 13 of 17 shots from the floor (6-for-7 on three-pointers en route to his 36-point total, Nedwick paced five double-digit scorers as the Warriors recorded their first 90-point game of the year to outlast Keene, ranked seventh nationally by averaging 84 points per game. Junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds (nine in the first half) and dished out a career-high six assists, and junior forward Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) blocked five shots for the second straight game. Behind Roveto, freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) and sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) the Warriors amassed a 49-33 advantage on the boards (nearly doubling Keene's total in the first half).

Garrow nearly doubled his season point total by tossing in 14 off the bench and pulling down a career-high eight rebounds in 22 minutes. Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) - the conference leader in three-point field goals - had little room to operate against Keene freshman Anthony Mariano, but scored eight of his 11 points in the second half. Sawyer and sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) contributed ten points Kohn had five rebounds.

Behind three successive three-point field goals - two by D'Amours - Keene went on an 11-point run early in the second half to erase a five-point deficit and surge to a six-point lead. D'Amours' fourth three-point bomb of the half made it 68-62 midway through the second half. In a game which featured ten lead changes and ten ties, Keene led by two, 82-80, with three minutes left before Eastern had the final say.

Edwin dropped in a jumper to tie the game at 82-all, and Nedwick converted two free throws and a layup to give Eastern a four-point, 86-82 lead with 1:23 left. Eastern iced the win by connecting on five of six free throws over the final 24.4 seconds Ortiz (36-for-40/90 percent from the line this year) hit a pair with 24.4 seconds left and Kohn swished two with 14.7 seconds left to make it 90-86.

In addition to grabbing a team-high eight rebounds, Mariano led Keene with 29 points - scoring 15 of his points on five three-pointers and six more on seven free throws. D'Amours took 21 shots from the floor and finshed with 21 points, while freshman forward Eric Fazio added 13 points.  Keene scored 36 points on 12 three-point field goals.

Eastern visits Rhode Island College Saturday at 3 p.m.

EASTERN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DOWNS LEC FAVORITE KEENE, 68-52

 Pierlioni has a career-high 25 points and freshman Carter 12 rebounds

chapman72dpi_1679.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior forward LEClogo-1WEB.jpgAmanda Pierlioni (Plainville) had a game and career-high high 25 points and sank a career-high five three-point field goals and freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) helped the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball dominate the boards with 12 rebounds as the Warriors led from start to finish to dump Keene State College, 68-52, Tuesday night in a Little East Conference game at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Piper Chapman beats Keene's Kristin Degou to the ball during first-half action Tuesday night (Nicholas Noheimer photo).

Eastern (12-3, 6-0 little east) maintains a share of the top spot in the conference with Western Connecticut State University, which edged Rhode Island College, 83-79, Tuesday night at Danbury. The Warriors have won nine straight games this year and their last 17 regular-season conference games dating back to last January 13. Keene State (10-5, 3-3 little east), the pre-season favorite to capture its first LEC crown, drops into a two-way tie for fourth place in the conference with Plymouth State University. The Owls had won four of five entering the game.

The victory was the sixth straight for Eastern over Keene.

Pierlioni sparked Eastern to a nine-point, 27-18, halftime lead by scoring 13 points in the first half. Eastern's led never dipped below double figures after junior guard Brittany Whiteley's (Windsor Locks) jumper made it 30-20 four minutes into the second half. Pierlioni dropped in 12 second-half points and grabbed seven of her ten rebounds in the second half. She did not turn the ball over in 36 minutes in the game.

Carter, a three-time conference Rookie-of-the-Week, did not score in the first half but had seven of her  12 rebounds over the first 20 minutes. Eastern outrebounded the visitors, 48-30, with freshman Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA), Whiteley and sophomore Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) combining for 16 boards.

Last year's conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East  Haven) stymied conference scoring leader Kristin Degou. Averaging  15.7 points per game, Degou managed only two on 1-for-8 shooting from the floor. A senior guard, Degou picked up two early fouls in the game and was whistled for her third with 4.9 seconds left in the first half trying to stop Moriarty's drive to the basket. Degou's only basket came with 3:02 left in the game on her fifth shot with her team trailing by 13. She played only 28 minutes. Moriarty finished witih nine points and four rebounds.

Sophomore guard Courtney Cirillo came off the bench to record a team-high 16 points for Keene. The only Keene player with more than eight points, Cirillo scored 12 of her points in the second half, sinking six of eight free throws.

Eastern visits Rhode Island College Saturday at 1 p.m.


 

LEC CITES CARTER AGAIN

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 Eastern Connecticut State University LEClogo-1WEB.jpgfreshman Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) has been  named Rookie-of-the-Week in the Little East Conference for the third time in seven weeks.

At left: Tanisha Carter (35)

In a 2-0 week which ended Jan. 17, Carter helped Eastern stay unbeaten in the conference by sinking two free throws with 2.9 seconds left in a 54-52 home win over Southern Maine Saturday. She finished the game with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

In a mid-week conference game Tuesday, the 5-foot10 inch forward was 8-for-8 from the floor (17 points) with seven rebounds and three assists in a 91-72 win at UMass Dartmouth.

In the two wins which extended the team's winning streak to eight, Carter averaged 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. She was 11-for-17 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the line.

In 14 games for the 11-3 Warriors, Carter leads the team in scoring (11.9), rebounding (8.7) and field goal percentage (.523) and is second in free throw percentage (.733). She leads all conference freshmen in rebounding and field goal percentage and overall in the conference ranks fourth in field goal percentage, fifth in rebounding and 11th in scoring.

Eastern, which shares the LEC lead with a 5-0 records, hosts pre-season conference favorite Keene State College Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Owls are in a three-way tie for third place in the conference with a 3-2 record.

 

DOHENY LEADS EASTERN SWIMMING IN DUAL MEET LOSS TO KEENE

Senior records three third-place finishes as Warriors return to competition

doheny 72dpi_5090.jpgKEENE, N.H. - Senior Kelsy Doheny (West Haven) collected a team-high nine points with WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgthree third-place finishes in the freestyle events when the Eastern Connecticut State University women's swimming team  opened the 2010 portion of its schedule with a 140-116 loss to Keene State College Saturday afternoon at the Spaulding Gymnasium Pool.

Above: Kelsy Doheny

Returning to intercollegiate action for the first time since Dec. 12, Eastern (4-2) received nine points from Doheny, eight points in two backstroke events from junior Katie Curran (Norwood, MA), seven in two breaststroke events from senior Jessica Wilson (Torrington) and seven in the 400 yard individual medley and 100 yard freestyle from junior Amy Arisco (Wallingford), and six points in the 400 yard individual medley and 200 yard breaststroke from senior Sarah Dombrowski (Southington).

Keene (4-2), which easily won this year's Little East Conference championship and last year's NEISDA Division II-III meet, won all 11 events against Eastern that were not exhibitioned. The Warriors claimed five individual second-place finishes: Curran in the 100 and 200 yard  backstroke, Arisco in the 400 yard IM, sophomore Nadine Menard (Woodstock) in the 200 yard butterfly, and Wilson in the 200 yard breaststroke. Wilson gained a split while competing in the breaststroke against sister Meghan, a sophomore at Keene. Jessica won by over six seconds in the 200 after Meghan was better by .09 in the 100. Eastern was also second in the meet-opening 200 yard medley relay. Competitors in that event were Curran, Wilson, Menard, and freshman Stephanie O'Kelly (Westport).

Senior Alea Paddock won the 400 yard IM and 100 and 200 yard breaststrokes as one of three multiple-event winners for Keene. Senior Jackie Foster owned the 200 and 500 yard freestyle events and senior Kristine Trutor was the 100 and 200 yard backstroke victor. That trio combined for eight golds in this year's LEC championship.

Eastern hosts Saint Joseph College (CT) Wednesday at 7 p.m.

SAWYER'S CAREER GAME PROPELS EASTERN M-BASKETBALL, 77-69

Junior center breaks out with career-high 31 points in LEC win over USM

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sawyer_kohn_umb_72dpi_3873.jpg WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University junior center  Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) scored a career-high 31 points  and sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) added ten points and 12 rebounds in a 77-69 Little East Conference men's basketball victory over the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At left: Broderick Sawyer (42) and Jamie Kohn (32) team up on the boards in the first half of Saturday's win over Southern Maine. (Photo courtesy of Cris Yarborough)

With its fourth straight win, Eastern (12-3, 4-1 little east) slides into a first-place tie for the conference lead with defending LEC regular-season champion Rhode Island College after the Anchormen dropped a 62-60 decision at Plymouth State University Saturday. Southern Maine (2-13, 0-5 little east) lost its seventh straight.

Eastern, which equalled its win total of a year ago, has not started a season with a 12-3 record after 15 games in 40 years - since the 1969/70 squad won 12 of its first 15 and went on to a 21-4 record under Eastern Hall of Fame coach Clyde Washburne.

The double-figure total was the first in nine games (since a 20-point effort Dec. 5) for Sawyer, who was 13-of-19 from the floor and 5-of-8 from the foul line. Sawyer also tied his career highs with nine rebounds and five blocked shots and did not give the ball away in 33 minutes. Sawyer entered the game averaging 7.6 points and 3.4 rebounds with a  team-high 20 blocked shots.geitnerusm72dpi_1635.jpg

At right: Head coach Bill Geitner was still using training wheels when the Warriors last won 12 of their first 15 games.

In addition to helping to shadow conference scoring leader Cortez Isaac of USM, Eastern sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) had ten points, seven rebounds and five assists and helped limit Issac (6-of-17 from the floor) to 19 points - seven below his season average. Kohn, ranked third in the LEC in rebounding, teamed with Sawyer and Eastern junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) on the boards to provide the Warriors with a 46-30 rebounding edge. Roveto corralled ten rebounds - his first-double figure rebounding total in eight games. Seven of Roveto's rebounds came on the offensive end and were integral as the Warriors scored 30 of their points on second-chance tries (23 offensive rebounds).

 

Neither team led by more than three points in the first half of a game which featured 12 lead changes. A run of 12 consecutive points in the opening four minutes of  the second half (Nedwick and Sawyer scoring five each) put the Warriors in control of a 14-point, 48-34 lead, before the Huskies chipped away. Trailing by 11 with eight minutes left, USM got back into the game with six quick points. After two free throws by Isaac with 30 seconds left made it 73-69, Roveto snared consecutive offensive rebounds off a missed free throw, scoring on the second one to make it 75-69. Junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) connected on two free throws with 14 seconds left to close out the scoring. Simmons scored eight of his ten points in the second half.

Isaac, sophomore forward Leif O'Connell and junior guard John Sewall did the heavy lifting for the Huskies. The trio combined for all but 14 of Southern Maine's  points as only five players contributed to the team's scoring load. O'Connell came off the bench to sink 9 of 11 field goals, both of his misses being blocked by Sawyer. O'Connell matched Isaac with 19 points and Sewall netted 17 on 7-of-10 shooting.

Eastern has won six of the last nine meetings between the teams.

Eastern hosts Keene State College Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

CARTER RESCUES EASTERN W-HOOP

Freshman sinks two free throws with 2.9 left as Warriors hold off USM

moriarty72pdi_1600.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team LEClogo-1WEB.jpgtrailed only once in the game and withstood a late University of Southern Maine charge  to remain undefeated in the Little East Conference with a 54-52 victory Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasnium.

At left: Jessica Moriarty defends against USM's Kaylie DeMillo in the first half of Eastern's conference win Saturday.

Eastern (11-3, 5-0 little east) freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) swished two free throws with 2.9 seconds left for the winning points after Southern Maine (11-4, 3-2 little east) had scored nine straight to tie the game, 52-52, with 26 seconds left  With the score tied, Carter was fouled on a layup attempt after receiving a baseline pass from junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven). One of the team's top free throw shooters, Carter swished both attempts for the winning points. Inbounding the ball 94 feet from the Eastern basket, Southern Maine commited an unforced turnover as time expired.

Eastern maintains a share of the conference lead with Western Connecticut State University, which drubbed homestanding UMass Boston Saturday, 82-40. Southern Maine sinks into a three-way tie for third place.

The win is the fourth in the last six meetings for Eastern over Southern Maine. Both teams entered play having won seven straight games.

The Warriors maintained control of the game until the final minutes. Eastern led by as many as ten points late in the first half and by nine after Carter sank a jumper following a Moriarty offensive rebound with just under four  minutes left. On its final five possessions before Carter's winning free throws, Eastern turned the ball over four times and missed two free throws. After USM freshman forward Meredith Reid sank two free throws, Southern Maine sophomore guard Renee Nicholas picked Moriarty's pocket in the back court and turned it into a layup to cut Eastern's lead to two, 52-50, with 1:20 left. An unforced turnover gave the ball back to Southern Maine with just under a minute left with a chance to tie or go ahead. Eastern's tight defense forced USM three-point threat Kaylie DeMillo to unload a three-pointer from in front of her own bench. The team leader in blocks, Moriarty got a piece of the shot  that fell short of the rim but into the hands of senior forward Haley Johnson, who layed it in to tie the game at 52-all with 28 seconds left.

After going 0-for-5 from the floor in the first half, Eastern's junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville)  scored all 12 of her team-high points in the second half, going 3-for-4 from three-point range, Celebrating her 21st birthday, Pierlioni hit three-pointers after the Huskies had pulled to within three with 6:38 left and to within four with 4:10 left, that kept the Warriors' relatively comfortable lead intact heading down the stretch.

In the game, Carter had nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds and Pierlioni added nine rebounds. Moriarty had eight points, four rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals.

Playing without third-leading scorer Nicole Paradis, Southern Maine got 14 points and eight rebounds from Johnson and 14 points, four assists and five steals from Nicholas. Ranked second in the conference in three-point field goals, DeMillo added 11 points, hitting two of eight three-pointers. Nicholas scored ten of her 12 points in the second half.

The game featured two of the LEC's top-ranked freshmen in Carter and Southern Maine's Curran Leighton.  Tied for second in the conference with a 15.3 scoring average, Leighton managed only eight points but equaled her season rebounding average of eight. She also had three blocks. Leighton played the remainder of the second half after being whistled for her third personal foul with 18:19 left in the game.

Eastern freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) had 11 points and four rebounds in a career-high 31 minutes in her first collegiate start. Kelleher was 4-for-8 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the stripe and had a blocked shot and only one turnover in a career-high 31 minutes.

 Eastern won last year's conference regular season but SouthernMaine knocked off the No. 1 seed , 64-59, in the championship game at Eastern's Geissler Gym.

Eastern hosts Keene State College Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Keene was the coaches' pre-season favorite to win the title. The Owls trimmed homestanding UMass Dartmouth, 54-49, Saturday for its third LEC win against two losses.

FOR BASKETBALLS, IT'S GO! TIME

 Action in Little East begins heating up when Warriors host USM Saturday

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The Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's basketball teams plunge into LEClogo-1WEB.jpgthe heart of their respective Little East Conference schedules when the teams host a hardwood doubleheader against the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

 

Geitner head 72.jpgThe defending conference regular-season champion women's team (10-3, 4-0 little east) faces defending LEC tournament champion University of Southern Maine (11-3, 3-1 little east) at 1 p.m. The Eastern men (11-3, 3-1 little east) host the Huskies (2-12, 0-4 little east) at 3 p.m.

Bill Geitner   Audio.wav

Beginning Saturday, the women play ten of their final 12 regular-season games against conference opponents, while the men face LEC opponents in ten of their final 11.

Despite winning last year's regular-season title, the women were picked for third in the coaches' pre-season poll, based upon a perceived 'rebuilding' project under 16th-year head coach Denise Bierly. With only one returning starter in junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven), the Warriors have been a surprise thus far. After 13 games, they are just one game off last year's pace which resulted in a final 25-4 record and NCAA tournament appearance. A 19-time LEC tournament champion, Southern Maine is 7-1 on the road this year, where it knocked off the top-seeded Warriors in last year's LEC championship game at Geissler Gym.

The Eastern and Southern Maine women bring identical seven-game winning streaks into the first game of this year's annual home-and-home series (the teams meet again in the regular-season finale Feb. 20 at the Warren G. Hill Gymnasium.

While the Eastern women share the top spot in the conference with Western Connecticut State University, the Warriors have yet to face the iron of the conference. Conversely, Southern Maine has already played pre-season conference favorite Keene State and Western Connecticut, both at home. The Huskies lost by 20 to Western Dec. 5 but downed Keene by 15.

The women's game features two of the premier freshmen in the conference in Eastern's Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) and Southern Maine's Curran Leighton. Carter leads Eastern in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage; Leighton is her team's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder.

Off to its best start after 14 games in 24 years, the Eastern men took over sole possession of second place in the conference Tuesday with a six-point victory at defending LEC tournament champion University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Bill Geitner, the Warriors are a game behind defending regular-season champ Rhode Island College, which staged an improbable late-game comeback to nip the Warriors by a bucket Dec. 5 at Geissler Gym in Eastern's only conference loss of the year. 

A winner of three straight, Eastern has won six of seven at home this year. Southern Maine has lost its last six and is 2-8 away from Hill Gymnasium. The Warriors swept last year's two-game set by 15 points each time.

The game pits two of the conference's top scorers in Eastern senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) and first-year USM junior guard Cortez Issac, a native of Washington, DC. Ortiz  is sixth in the conference in scoring and first in three-point field goals; Issac's scoring average of 26.4 leads all conference players and he is also third in the LEC in three-pointers. With 21 points in Thursday's non-conference home win over Wentworth, Ortiz moved ahead of Eastern Hall of Famer George Dargati into 11th place all-time in scoring at Eastern with 1,250 points.


 

BENCH PLAY SPARKS EASTERN BASKETBALL TO 75-67 VICTORY

Thompson and Simmons combine for 28 points on 12-for-17 shooting

simmons 72dpi_1216.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Sophomore center Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) and junior guard   WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgCourtney Simmons (Middletown) came off the bench to score 28 points on 12-for-17 shooting from the floor to vault the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 75-67 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a non-conference game Thursday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium

At left: Courtney Simmons.

Eastern (11-3) took over the momentum for good early in the second half with a 6-0 run when senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) converted a four-point play on a three-point field goal and free throw and Simmons hit the first of five field goals over the next ten minutes upon entering the game to give Eastern a seven-point, 44-37 lead.  The lead never dipped below four after that, peaking at 12, 63-51when Simmons sank the back end of a two-shot foul with three minutes left.

With its sixth home win in seven outings, Eastern is off to its best overall start after 14 games since the 1985-86 season, when the Warriors posted an identical record and eventually finished 18-9 and qualified for the ECAC tournament. Eastern's best start after 14 games is 14-0 (which proved to be the team's final record), coming in the second year of the program in 1941-42. 

Wentworth (5-8) has alternated wins and losses over its last seven games.

Thompson dropped in seven of his eight shots in the game and finished with 17 points. The 6-foot-5 inch, 215-pounder is 19-for-25 in his last four games from the field. Thompson came off the bench to equal his career high of 20 points in Tuesday's Little East Conference road win over UMass Dartmouth.

Simmons had missed the last two games --both close victories -- with a finger injury before spelling Ortiz with Eastern leading by five five minutes into the second half.  He canned five of nine shots on a variety of drives to the basket and mid-range jumpers and finished with 11 points.

Eastern scored its final 13 points of the game from the foul line on 17 tries over the final three minutes. Ortiz led all players with 21 points (his second straight game of at least 20). Nine of his points came on ten free throw attempts (he is now 32-for-36 from the line this year). Ortiz  was 6-for-6 from the stripe in the final minute of play

The Warriors' final basket of the game came with just over three minutes left and expanded Eastern's lead to 11, 62-51. On the play, Wentworth missed a jumper and as 6-foot-11 inch Wentworth forward Sam Herrick was reaching for the offensive rebound, the ball was knocked away by Eastern sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia). Kohn lunged for the ball as it was heading out of bounds and batted it to sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), who found junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) ahead of the field for an uncontested layup.

In the first meeting between the teams in nine years, Wentworth got balanced scoring in the early moments of the game to move out to an eight-point, 12-4 lead. The Warriors held the Leopards scoreless from the floor over three minutes, however, getting buckets by Kohn, freshman guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) and Ortiz to get back into the game, pulling to within one with nine minutes left in the first half. Garrow took over for Nedwick with Eastern trailing by four eight minutes into play and provided an instant spark by scoring on all three of his field goal tries in a four-minute stretch, the final hoop tying the game with six minutes left in the half.

Shooting .671 percent from the foul line this year, Eastern was 16-for-20 (.800 percent) in the game. Wentworth's poor free throw shooting was costly. The Leopards missed 11 of 20 tries from the stripe.

Nedwick contributed nine points and five rebounds and Kohn led the Warriors with eight caroms.

Herrick reached his season averages with a team-high 13 points and game-high 11 rebounds. Senior guard Jack Barrett had ten points and five rebounds and senior forward Shane West ten points and four rebounds.  Senior forward Matt Abbott had nine points and six rebounds.

Eastern hosts the University of Southern Maine in a Little East conference game Saturday at 3 p.m. Ten of the team's final 11 regular-season games come in conference play.

 

 

 


 

EASTERN M-BASKETBALL DOWNS DEFENDING LEC CHAMP UMD, 84-78

Three players are a combined 12-for-12 from the line in second half

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -  No current member of this year's Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team had beaten the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on the Corsairs' home court.

That all changed Tuesday night. But not without some anxious moments.

At right: Bill Roveto

Eastern (10-3, 3-1 little east) built a 12-point lead in the second half and used timely free-throw shooting to withstand four consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes in posting an 84-78 victory over the defending Little East Conference tournament champions and 2009/10 pre-season conference favorites.

By winning for the fourth time in five games on their opponents' home court this year, the Warriors break from a three-way second-place tie in the conference standings to sole possession of second place - one game behind 2008/09 regular-season conference  Rhode Island College.

Until Tuesday night, Eastern had not beaten UMass (8-5, 2-2 little east) on the Corsair's home court since a thrilling 82-81 victory en route to a regular-season sweep during the 2003/04 season (UMass came back to eliminate the Warriors at Geissler Gym, 62-61, in the LEC tournament later that season). The victory also ends an overall six-game losing streak for Eastern at the hands of UMass dating back to the 2006/07 season.

With senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) sinking seven of 12 field goals (5-for-9 from three-point range), Eastern shot a season-high 58.5 percent from the floor to offset 22 turnovers. The Warriors were 13-for-18 from the foul line in the second half, with Ortiz at 6-for-6, sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) 4-for-4 and freshman guard Joe Ives (Avon) 2-for-2.

Ortiz  exceeded the 20-point range for the first time in six games, and the Warriors needed every one of his game-high 25 points after giving the ball away on four consecutive possessions in the final minutes that had clipped a comfortable ten-point lead with two minutes left to five, 80-75, with 90 seconds left.  Clinging to that lead, Eastern gave the ball away again but UMass missed a critical shot. Thompson grabbed the rebound and fed sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) for a game-breaking layup that made it 82-75 with 30 seconds left. A three-point field goal by Paul Rose seconds later cut Eastern's lead to four, 82-78, but Ortiz sank two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to ice the win.

After a  three-point field goal by UMass' Brandon Shelton had pulled UMass to within six, 76-70 with 3:37 left, Thompson scored a key basket on a pass from Nedwick to make it 78-70 with 3:10 left. Nedwick then grabbed a defensive rebound on a UMass miss and junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) put back a missed three-pointer by Ortiz to make it 80-70.


Thompson came off the bench for a career-high 20 points (7-for-9 from the floor, 6-for-7 from the line) and also added six rebounds. Roveto was 7-for-7 from the floor on the way to 15 points (improving his season shooting percentage to .592) and added eight rebounds. Nedwick had 11 points and a game-high seven assists and sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) had nine points, a game-high ten rebounds and six assists without a turnover in 29 minutes.

All-conference forwards Brandon Stephens and Shelton combined for 33 points for UMass, with Stephens leading his team with 22 (9-for-16 from the floor). Rose, a first-year community collegiate transfer guard, had 17 points, 12 coming on three-point field goals.

Eastern played its second straight game without junior point guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown), out of action with a hand injury. UMass was without  senior guard Jeff Macchi, an All-Defensive selection last year and this year's LEC co-leader in steals, and senior forward Matt Walker (12.8 ppg./4.5 rpg.). Neither is with the program any longer.

Eastern hosts Wentworth Institute of Technology Thursday at 7 p.m.

 


 

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL WHIPS UMASS DARTMOUTH IN LITTLE EAST

Warriors maintain share of conference lead with seventh straight, 91-72

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  LEClogo-1WEB.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Freshman guard Samantha Riccio (Avon) scored all 12 of her points in the first half and freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) scored 14 of her 17 in the second half on perfect shooting to lift the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team to a 91-72 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday evening at the Tripp Athletic Center.

In her homecoming, freshman Lauren Kelleher (at right) had 12 points and six rebounds.

With its seventh straight win this year and 15th straight LEC regular-season victory over two years, Eastern (10-3, 4-0 little east) maintains a share of first place in the conference with Western Connecticut State University, which upended pre-season conference favorite Keene StateCollege, 60-55, Tuesday night at Keene, NH. The Warriors remain perfect (5-0) on the road this season in recording their  31st straight win in this series over UMass (5-8, 0-4 little east).

Riccio scored 12 of Eastern's 21 points at one point during the first half - six of them coming on three-point field goals two minutes apart - as the Warriors raced to a 16-point halftime lead.

Limited to three points in the first half, Carter dominated the second half, scoring 14 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the floor. Carter scored all eight of the game's point in a 69-second span in the second half and during her run, accounted for seven of the team's eight buckets  and assisted on the eighth in that run.

The 5-foot-10 inch Carter, the New England Rookie-of-the-Week the last two weeks, made good on all eight of her field goals in the game and finished as one of the team's five double-figure scorers with 17 points. Junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) tossed in a career-high 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the floor. With Carter and Whiteley, Eastern shot a season-high 56.3 percent from the floor in the game, 63.6 percent in the second half.

Riccio, junior forward Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) and freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) all contributed 12 points for Eastern. The point total was Riccio's highest since she scored 16 in her collegiate debut Nov. 21 against Manhattanville College. Kelleher, who played her high school basketball at nearby Dartmouth High School, scored ten of her points in the second half. Her final point total was one shy of her career-high, set in a conference win at Plymouth State a month ago.

Pierlioni grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, Carter seven, Kelleher and freshman guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) a career-high six as Eastern nearly doubled the Corsairs' rebounding total.

Eastern's final point total is its highest since a 94-32 home win over York College (NY) nearly four years ago.

Eastern hosts the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference game Saturday at 1 p.m. The Warriors won last year's LEC regular-season title and Southern Maine captured the tournament crown.

 

 

EASTERN'S CARTER REPEATS AS NEW ENGLAND'S TOP ROOKIE

In women's basketball, she is named NEWBA Rookie-of-the-Week again


carter 72dpi_1393.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  For the second time in as WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgmany week, Eastern Connecticut State University freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) has been named Rookie-of-the-Week by the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA).

At left: Tanisha Carter

The 5-foot-11 inch Carter averaged 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds and shot .559 from the floor in sparking Eastern (9-3)  to three wins that pushed its current winning streak to six.  Carter was named NEWBA Rookie-of-the-Week for the first time last Monday.

Eastern began the week last Monday by winning the Williams College Winter Classic with a 73-63 victory over Babson College, routed Worcester State College in a 66-44  road win Wednesday, then wrapped up the week with its third Little East Conference win without a loss in a 54-34 home triumph over Massachusetts Boston.

In three games, Carter also converted four of five free throws and commited only three turnovers in 90 minutes (1.3 per 40 minutes). She blocked three shots and stole the ball twice.  Against Worcester State, Carter recorded her second double-double in the last four games with 11 points and 11 rebounds Against UMass Boston, she was 10-for 14 from the floor with eight rebounds  and a career-high 22 points. She did not turn the ball over in 29 minutes in that game.

Carter is ranked in a tie for 12th in the conference in scoring (11.8), is fifth in rebounding (8.7) and sixth in field goal percentage (.505). She shares the Eastern lead in scoring and is first in rebounding and field goal percentage.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.

 

 

HALLS OF FAME DAY

dambrosioHOF72dpi_1552.jpgCurrent Eastern Connecticut State University head women's soccer coach Chris D'Ambrosio (at center in ltop photo) and former Eastern men's lacrosse coach Rick McCarthy (at center in bottom photo) were honored Sunday with induction into a Hall of Fame. D'Ambrosio was recognized by the Connecticut Girls' Soccer Coaches Assocation (CGSCA) during ceremonies as the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. McCarthy, who coached the first seven seasons of the Eastern men's lacrosse program from 1996 through 2002, was enshrined by the  Connecticut Lacrosse rickandalumni72dpi_1562.jpgFoundation Hall of Fame at the Commons at Woolsey Hall on the campus of Yale University. Both D'Ambrosio and McCarthy are the winningest coaches in the history of their respective Eastern programs. McCarthy was inducted into the Eastern E-Club Hall of Fame in the fall of 2008. Helping D'Ambrosio celebrate his induction were Joe Erardi (far left) and Beth Regan (far right) -- two of the three previous coaches in women's soccer program history. Regan, the program founder who coached the program through the first six yeaers, currently serves as chairman of the NSCAA Region I All-America Committee, while Erardi was a founding member of the CGSCA and past president. Joining McCarthy at Yale were four of his former players. From left: Christopher Strycharz, Ryan Cavanaugh, Thierry Francois and Ryan Rose.

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL EASES PAST UMASS BOSTON IN LEC, 54-34

Warriors continue defensive tenacity to post sixth consecutive victory

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team   did not allow as many as 20 points in either half and rode that defense to its sixth straight win, a 54-34 Little East Conference decision over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Tanisha Carter

Last year's regular-season conference champion, Eastern (9-3, 3-0 little east) scored the first five points of the game, and pushed the lead to double digits 11 minutes into play. A ten-point halftime lead never dipped below double figures in the second half. The Warriors forced 22 turnovers with ten steals in holding UMass (4-7, 0-3 little east) 14 points under its season average. The Beacons were 2-for-16 from three-point range, shooting just 22.2 percent from the floor in the second half.

Eastern freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) dominated play with a career-high 22 points - 16 coming in the second half on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor  -- and a game-high eight rebounds as the Warriors remained undefeated  in the conference with their sixth straight win overall and 50th win in 55 games in this series with UMass Boston. The Warriors and Western Connecticut are atop the conference lead with identical records.

Carter pulled into a share of the team scoring lead with her career-high point total with junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven), who had 12 points, four steals and two blocked shots. Carter and Moriarty combined to play 61 minutes without a turnover - the first game without a giveaway for either this season - as the Warriors commited a season-low nine turnovers.

Junior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) had eight points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals with only two turnovers in 32 minutes for Eastern.

During its current six-game winning streak, Eastern allowed an average of 47.2 points per game and has limited all but one of those opponents to 52 or less. UMass' point total is the lowest against Eastern since the Warriors gave up only 33 last Jan. 29 against theU.S. Coast Guard Academy at Geissler Gym.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in a Little East Conference game. The Corsairs are 0-3 in the conference but fell only a point shy in Saturday's 61-60 road loss to defending LEC playoff champion University of Southern Maine.

EASTERN M-BASKETBALL SURVIVES AGAINST UMASS BOSTON, 67-63

Late seven-point run gives Warriors final lead en route to Little East win

ortiz 72dpi_0938.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - In a decisive three- LEClogo-1WEB.jpgminute stretch late in the game, senior guard  Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) scored five consecutive points and sophomore guard Nick Nedwick ((Irvington, NY) had a basket, two rebounds, a steal and assist to spark the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 67-63 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Above: Edwin Ortiz continues his climb up the all-time scoring list.

There were 17 lead changes and nine ties in the game before Eastern (9-3, 2-1 little east) took the lead for good with just under six minutes left. The Warriors scored seven straight points to move out to a 61-55 lead and sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) sank two free throws with 16.7 seconds left after UMass (3-10, 1-2 little east) had pulled to within two.

The loss was the sixth straight for UMass, which had split its first four road games. Eastern improves to 5-1 at home this year . Seven of Eastern's 12 games this year have now been decided by four or fewer points, with the Warriors having won five of those contests.

With UMass leading by a point and in possession of the ball with just under six minutes left, junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) grabbed the rebound and Nedwick scored in the paint to give Eastern the lead for good, 56-55. A minute later, Nedwick fed Ortiz for a basket, and Ortiz followed up with a conventional three-point play to make it 61-55 with three minutes left.

Ranked second-to-last in the conference in free throw percentage, UMass sank 21 of 25 in the game, including 14 of 15 in the second half. Ranked last in three-point field goals, UMass missed all nine of its three-point attempts.

Eastern shot 54.2 percent from the floor in the second half, with sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds over the final 20 minutes and Ortiz adding 11 points. The duo was  9-for-16 from the floor in the second half, 11-for-23 in the game.

Little East Conference rebounding leaders Ernst Jean and Pat Joseph of UMass were each held to four rebounds but combined to shoot 15-for-24 from the floor. Joseph led all players with 21 points, Jean adding 17 before fouling out with 5.2 seconds left, but no other UMass player had more than six points.

Ortiz, Nedwick and Kohn combined for 44 points on 15 of 28 shooting from the floor and also combined for half (14) of the team's rebounds. Sawyer collected a career-high five blocked shots. Two of them came in succession on Joseph and Jean in the opening minutes of the second half.

Eastern played without point guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) - the team's  third-leading scorer. Simmons missed his first game with a finger injury. Freshman guard Joe Ives (Avon) came off the bench in place of Simmons, playing a career-high 17 minutes without a turnover. His free throw with 1.6 seconds left sealed the win.

Already the program leader in three point field goals in a season and career, Ortiz moved ahead of 2008 graduate Leon Martin and into 12th place all-time with 1,204 career points in 90 career games (13.4 ppg.). Ortiz had two three-points in the game, extending his program record to 225.

Eastern visits defending conference playoff champion Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

FORMER EASTERN COACH IS STATE LACROSSE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

     Rick McCarthy to be cited by Conn. Lacrosse Foundation Sunday

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -   Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame coach Rick McCarthy will be enshrined as a member of the second class of inductees into the Connecticut Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame January 10.

McCarthy, who has played and coached at the high school, college and club levels for 50 years, is one of seven individuals slated for induction during a reception at dinner ceremony from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in The Commons at Woolsey Hall on the Yale University campus.

A 1968 graduate of Yale, McCarthy is a Marblehead, MA native and Stonington resident has served as head men's lacrosse coach at Babson College, Eastern and Western Connecticut  State University for a total of 13 years and is currently in his fifth year as an assistant coach at Wesleyan University.

McCarthy began the Eastern men's and women's lacrosse programs on the club level in 1995 before taking over the men's program for seven years on the intercollegiate level. After leading the Eastern program to a 91-19 record and 11 conference regular-season and playoff championships, McCarthy was named first head coach for the newly-formed Western Connecticut program. He coached the Colonials in 2004 and '05, with that second team winning 11 of 16 matches and qualifying for the ECAC New England Division III tournament. McCarthy build the foundation of that program which would go on to win the Little East Conference championship three years later.

In the fall of 2008, McCarthy became the first representative of the Eastern men's lacrosse program to gain induction into the Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame.

Under McCarthy, Eastern featured six USILA Division III All-Americans and 26 All-New England players. Four were named to the prestigious USILA North-South Senior All-Star Game, and 13 to the New England East-West Senior All-Star Game. At the conference level, 12 were selected All-Little East Conference and 19 Pilgrim League all-division. McCarthy also boasted one ECAC New England Player-of-the-Year, three LEC players of the year, one LEC Rookie-of-the-Year, and two Pilgrim League rookies of the year.

A past president of the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association,  McCarthy was named Assistant Coach-of-the-Year by the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaching Association in 2006.

After leading Phillips Exeter Academy to the New England prep lacrosse championship as a high school player in 1964, McCarthty lettered four seasons in lacrosse and ice hockey at Yale between 1964 and 1968. He began his current 37-year coaching career as an assistant varsity and head freshman lacrosse coach at Yale and later went on to coach at the Choate School and Avon Old Farms.

McCarthy has served on a multitude of regional and national lacrosse committees and in addition to college and high school coaching, has coached numerous youth and college-age club team throughout New England. In addition to serving as an assistant coach at Wesleyan, McCarthy serves as director of the Connecticut Cardinals club lacrosse program.

Additional inductees Sunday include Pat McCahill, Bob McHenry, Lee Pinney, Mike Pressler, Bonnie Rosen and Dee Stephan. The induction dinner will be the culminating event of the Connecticut Lacrosse Foundation's annual Connecticut Coaches' Convention and Clnic, which also be held at Yale throughout the day.

Tickets for the induction dinner and ceremony are priced at $60 and must be reserved by Saturday at www.ctlacrosse.org

 

EASTERN COACH CHRIS D'AMBROSIO CGSCA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

                Successful women's soccer coach to be enshrined January 10

Ticket information: Contact Patrick Collet at collet@coxnet

Audio.wav  (8 min., 15 sec.)

Below: Chris D'Ambrosio

dambrosio72dpi_0797.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Chris D'Ambrosio, a winner of more than 100 matches as a head WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgwomen's soccer coach on both the high school and collegiate levels, has been chosen for induction into the Connecticut Girls Soccer Coaches Association (CGSCA) Hall of Fame.

D'Ambrosio is the winningest head coach in the 24-year history of the Eastern Connecticut State University program, having compiled a 119-60-16 record (.651) over the last ten years. In an 11-year span as head coach at Coventry High School between 1987 and 1997, D'Ambrosio was 108-64-25 (.612).

The CGSCA induction ceremony is held in conjunction with the CGSCA All-State banquet and is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 10 at noon at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

At Eastern, D'Ambrosio's teams have won over 65 percent of their matches, captured three Little East Conference playoff titles, and have qualified for three NCAA and three ECAC tournaments.

After serving as goalkeeper coach at Eastern for two years, D'Ambrosio was promoted to the head coaching position prior to the 2000 season. Since compiling an 8-9-1 record in his first season, D'Ambrosio has not won less than 58 percent of his matches nor less than ten matches in any of the last nine seasons. In those nine years, the Warriors are 50-8-5 in regular-season conference play -- having compiled the most regular-season conference wins of all eight LEC teams in that stretch. In that stretch, the Warriors have never finishes lower than second in the final conference regular-season standings. Since D'Ambrosio led the team to its first LEC post-season tournament title in 2003, no conference team has won more than the Warriors' three playoff championships.

D'Ambrosio is the fourth permanent head coach in program history. D'Ambrosio has won more than twice as many matches as any head coach in program history, and has coached nearly half of the program all-time total of 427 matches.

Beth Regan, who coached the Eastern women's soccer program through its first six seasons between 1986 and 1991, was a prominent member of the CGSCA throughout her successful tenure as girls' soccer coach at Tolland High School.

"It is especially rewarding to acknowledge Chris' induction into the hall of fame," said Regan. "We are not only former colleagues and competitors on the high school level, but we share history with the Eastern program, and have always been united in our passion for the game. I offer him special congratulations."

For 11 years through 1997, D'Ambrosio was the head girls's coach at his alma mater, leading Coventry to Class "S" state tournament championship game berths in both his first and last seasons and into the state semifinals twice in-between. He was named the Connecticut Coach-of-the-Year in his first season.

In 21 years as head coach at the college and high school levels, D'Ambrosio has compiled a record of 227-124-41 for a .631 winning percentage.

BRIDGEWATER EDGES MEN CAGERS

Two players total 44 points for Bears in 71-67 victory over Warriors

roveto 71dpi_0943.jpgBRIDGEWATER, Mass. --  The Bridgewater State College men's basketball team broke quickly in the second half and went on to hand the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball teams its first loss on its opponent's court, 71-67, Wednesday night at the Tinsley Center.

At left: Bill Roveto

After six ties and 11 lead changes produced a halftime tie, Bridgewater (4-5) scored 11 of the first 13 points of the second half to snap a four-game losing streak. Eastern (8-3), comiing off a split at last weekend's Captains Shootout at Christopher Newport University, lost for the first time after winning each of its three games on its opponent's court this year.

Last year at Geissler Gym, Eastern brought a .500 record into its game against Bridgewater but routed the Bears, 94-77, who eventually advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Warriors had won five off six against Bridgewater in this series.

Junior guards Corey Connor and Judah Jackson combined for 44 of their team's points. Connor poured in 25 points (10-for-14 from the floor) and Jackson totalled 19 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Nicholas Motta added seven points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals for the hosts. Bridgewater shot over 57 percent from the floor in the second half.

Off the bench, junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown) paced the Warriors with 13 points, five assists and three rebounds, while junior post player Bill Roveto (South Windsor) had ten points (5-for-9 from the floor) and seven rebounds.  Sophomore guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) recorded a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, leading Eastern to a decisive 45-26 advantage on the boards (13-3 offensively). Sophomore post player Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) had 12 points and five rebounds, also ff the bench.

 Eastern returns to Little East Conference play Saturday when it hosts Massachusetts Boston at 3 p.m.

W-BASKETBALL ROUTS WORCESTER

Defense shuts down Lancers as Warriors win fifth game in a row, 66-44

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WORCESTER, Mass. -- The surging Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team played stifling defense and rolled up a 17-point halftime lead on the way to a 66-44 non-conference rout of Worcester State College Wednesday evening at Lancer Gymnasium.

The win is the fifth straight (third in four days) for Eastern (8-3), which was never headed after breaking to a 12-point lead eight minutes into action. All 15 players saw time for the Warriors, who improve to 4-0 away from Geissler Gymnasium this season.

At right: Jessica Moriarty

Eastern initiated an up-tempo game from the start, its double-teaming defense forcing Worcester (6-5) to take quick, low-percentage shots. Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) -- the MVP of this past weekend's Williams College Winter Classic -- had nine points, five rebounds and four assists. Freshman forward Tanesha Carter (East Hartford) -- last week's New England and Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Week -- recorded her second double-double (third of the year) in three games with 11 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in just 24 minutes.

Junior point guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) tossed in 11 points and grabbed four rebounds and freshman post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) came off the bench for eight points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.

Carter and Whiteley combined to score 12 of the team's first 15 points -- each completing a conventional three-point play in the opening seven minutes. Whiteley scored seven points in a span of 1:21 with a 15-foot bucket, two free throws and her three-point play which came on a drive to the basket. Moriarty scored all nine of her first-half points in the final 12 minutes.

Eastern nearly doubled Worcester's rebounding total and more than tripled its offensive rebound total.

Defensively, the Warriors held the Lancers 11 points under their season average. Kaleigh Charette and Reilly O'Keefe -- Worcester's leading scorers this season -- combined for only nine points on 3-for-17 shooting from the floor.

Eastern looks for its third conference win without a loss Saturday when it hosts Massachusetts Boston at 1 p.m.

 

 

CARTER OF EASTERN W-BASKETBALL CITED FOR RECENT PERFORMANCE

 Freshman named Rookie-of-the-Week in New England and in Little East

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University freshman forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) has been named Rookie-of-the-Week by both the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) and by the Little East Conference for her play in two games last week.

At right: Tanisha Carter (35)

The 5-foot-11 inch Carter averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds and shot .500 percent from the floor last week when the Warriors won two games. In a 75-41 home win over Clark University last Wednesday, Carter had ten points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes and in a 52-49 victory over host Williams College Sunday in the opening round of the Williams College Winter Classic, she had 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in 36 minutes and scored the go-ahead basket with just under one minute left.

The NEWBA honor is the first in the career of Carter, who was named conference Rookie-of-the-Week in the first report through games of Nov. 22.

Through ten games for the 7-3 Warriors, Carter leads the team in rebounding (8.5) and field goal percentage (.471) and is second in scoring (10.8) and tied for second in minutes per game (32.3). Carter leads all freshmen in the conference in rebounding, is eighth overall in field goal percentage and tied for 15th overall in scoring.

Carter's 13-point, 15-rebound effort against Williams was her first double-double of the season since a season-opening 65-55 home win over Manhattanville College in the opening round of the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament and helped the Warriors win the Williams College Winter Classic Monday with a 73-63 win over Babson College. On two other occasions this year, she has either fallen one point or one rebound shy of a double-double.

In addition to Carter, junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) has been the other Eastern player honored this year in the LEC weekly awards programs. Moriarty was named to the honor roll Dec. 7.

A winner of four in a row and six of seven, Eastern visits Worcester State College Wednesday at 7 p.m.

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL WILLIAMS TOURNAMENT CHAMP WITH 73-63 WIN

After scoring first nine points against Babson, Warriors are never headed

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At left: Jessica Moriarty

 WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgteam jumped out to an early 15-point lead and was never seriously threatened the rest of the way, cruising to a 73-63 win over Babson College in the championship game of the Williams College Winter Classic at Chandler Gymnasium.

A winner of four straight and six of its last seven, Eastern (7-3) scored the game's first nine points, then reeled off eight straight to go up 17-2. A winner of eight of its previous nine and three straight, Babson (8-3) turned the ball over on each of its first five possessions in the game, and the Warriors took advantage, scoring nine points in the game's first three minutes.

Junior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) - the tournament's Most Outstanding Player -- hit a key three during that early run, and that was followed by a jumper by sophomore post player Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI). After a pair of free throws by six-foot sophomore Kathleen King got Babson on the board, Eastern freshman Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) scored four of the Warriors next eight points as Eastern upped its lead to 15, 17-2, just six minutes into the game.

Eastern led by 17, 36-19, at the half and never let the Beavers closer than eight (on four occasions) in the second half. A three-point field goal from the top of the key by 6-foot-1 sophomore Nicole Wurdeman - the team's top scorer this year - made it an eight-point game for the final time with three minutes left before Carter answered that with a key basket in the paint 26 seconds later.

Last year's Little East Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Moriarty had 12 points and team highs of eight rebounds and seven assists in the title tilt after scoring eight in a 52-49 first-round win Sunday over host Williams College, which also entered its game with Eastern having won eight of ten this year. Moriarty was joined on the all-tournament by freshman guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic), who scored ten of her career-high 16 points when the Warriors set the tempo in the first half.

Junior point guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) scored 13 points, giving the Warriors 41 points from its starting backcourt. Chapman added 14 points. Blodgett, Carter and Whiteley turned the ball over only a combined four times in 106 minutes. The Warriors gave the ball away only 13 times, sank 13 of 14 free throws (Whiteley was 6-for-6) and canned seven three-pointers (Blodgett 4-for-9).

Wurdeman of Babson led all scorers with 18 points to go along with ten rebounds en route to all-tournament honors, while King added 16 points.

Williams College edged Rhode Island College, 51-48, in the consolation game, giving the tournament three of four games decided by exactly three points.

Having won all three of its road games this year, Eastern visits Worcester State College Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Williams College Sports Information contributed to this game account.

FREE-THROW BOUNTY CARRIES MEN'S BASKETBALL TO 72-64 WIN

 At CNU, Warriors are on victorious end of  foul-plagued game

simmons72dpi_1216.jpgNEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Six minutes into the second half of Sunday's consolation WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpggame against Westfield State College, it was evident that only a complete meltdown at the foul line would prevent the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team from a two-game split at the 13th Annual Captains Shootout.

At left: Courtney Simmons

The Warriors were far from perfect from the stripe in the final 14 minutes of the second half, but thanks in large part to junior guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown), they had were good enough to post a 72-64 victory over the Owls to claim the third-place team trophy at the tournament, hosted by  Christopher Newport University at the Freeman Center.

In a game dominated by personal fouls (57) and free throw attempts (82), Eastern (8-2) rebounded from a 20-point first-round  loss to York College 24 hours earlier with the eight-point victory that evened its 2010 record at 1-1. Westfield (6-6), which played the tournament without injured leading scorer Anthony Griffin, has lost six of its last eight after a 4-0 start

Against Westfield, Eastern was awarded a season-high 47 free throw attempts, 39 of them in the second half.  Westfield was whistled for a whopping ten personal fouls in the first six minutes of the second half, which meant that the Warriors would shoot a two-shot bonus for every ensuing foul the rest of the way. Eastern cashed in only 18 of those 30 tries over the final 14 minutes, but those 18 were enough to lift the team to the victory.

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At left: Edwin Ortiz

Simmons, held scoreless in four first-half minutes, was 9-for-10 from the stripe in ten second-half minutes to boast the Warriors. The 5-foot-11 inch point guard canned four key free throws in a span of just 22 seconds after Westfield had pulled to within three points seven minutes into the second half. Minutes later, Simmons and sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) were awarded a total of six free throws. Simmons  swished both of his and Nedwick went 2-for-4 to make it 52-45.  With the game virtually assured, Simmons added insurance by connecting on three of four 28 seconds apart to make it 70-58 with 20.5 seconds left

Eastern led by ten points with 9:34 left but needed two solid minutes of play later in the half to withstand Westfield's final bid. After a three-point Westfield field goal cut Eastern's lead to three with four minutes left, sophomore forward Jamie Kohn (Columbia) grabbed defensive rebounds off Westfield misses and also came up with a steal (one of five he had in the game) with two minutes left that sealed the win.

Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) represented Eastern on the all-tournament team. The team's leading scorer in each tournament game, Ortiz set the early tempo in the game by tossing in four three-point field goals in the first 11 minutes that helped kick-start the Warriors after Saturday's lethargic opening loss. The program leader in career and season three-point field goals, Ortiz kept Eastern in front in the early going, then fired in two three-pointers in 26 seconds to make it 20-13 with 11 minutes left in the half.

With junior post player Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) limited to 13 minutes because of foul trouble, sophomore Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) and first-year junior Jordan Levy (Woodbury) came off the bench to contribute to the inside game. Westfield was unable to contain the 6-foot-5 inch, 215 pound Thompson, who grabbed seven rebounds (four offensive)  and chipped in four free throws. Levy had six points and six rebounds and no turnovers in 17 minutes.

Eastern turned the ball over only 13 times (28 in the tournament) which translated into only five Westfield points. kohn72dpi_1193.jpg

Nedwick struggled from both the field and stripe in the game, but his defensive intensity held Westfield perimeter sharpshooter Derek Leab to only eight points. Leab, who had 16 points in Saturday's 77-60 loss to Christopher Newport, scored all three of his three buckets on drives to the basket.

At right: Jamie Kohn

Ortiz shared game-high scoring honors with 18 points, with all five of his baskets coming from behind the arc. Simmons added 11 points and Kohn nine points and seven rebounds to go along with his five steals.                            

Ortiz's earned his spot on the all-tournament team by scoring 32 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the floor (7-of-15 from "three" ) and 7-of-8 from the foul line. He also had six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Against Westfield, he played all but four minutes.

York avenged a one-point loss in last year's championship game against the hosts with a 71-61 overtime victory over Christopher Newport Sunday. The Cardinals forced overtime with a three-point field goal at the horn.

EASTERN W-BASKETBALL ADVANCES

Warriors emerge with 52-49 win over host Williams to reach title game

carter_head_72dpi8598.jpgWILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Freshman forward Tanisha Carter WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg(East Hartford) sank a twisting lay-up from the baseline with 58.4 seconds left Sunday afternoon, snapping a 47-all tie as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team hung on to post a 52-49 victory over host Williams College in the opening round of the Williams Winter Classic.

Above: Tanisha Carter

Eastern (6-3) will meet Babson College (8-2) in the championship game Monday at 1 p.m. Williams (8-3) faces Rhode Island College (8-2) in the consolation game at 5 p.m. The Warriors were playing their second game in five days after a three-week holiday break, coming off a 75-41 rout of Clark University. The Ephs were playing their first game since pounding Hamilton College , 64-45, three weeks ago.

Eastern moved into the championship game of by holding on down the stretch Williams missed a potentional winning basket with four seconds left and Eastern sophomore Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) sank two free throws after grabbing the rebound of the miss to account for the final score.

 A winner of three straight and five of six, Eastern led by seven points with six minutes left but Williams scored the next seven points to forge the seventh tie of the game with two minutes left, 47-47. Carter hit a shot with just under a minute left to give Eastern a 49-47 lead. Williams then missed two shots and junior post player Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) connected on the first of two free throws after grabbing the second miss with 36 seconds left to make it 50-47. Taylor Shea's basket with 15 seconds left cut the Eastern lead to one, 50-49. Shea then grabbed a rebound of an Eastern missed free throw witih 13 seconds left but teammate Grace Rehnquist couldn't put in the potential go-ahead shot 11 seconds later.

Averaging 21 turnovers per game entering action, Eastern gave the ball away only 11 times and has now commited only 21 total turnovers in its last two wins.

Carter posted her first double-double since the season-opener, scoring a team-high 13 points (two shy of her career high) and grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds. She was Eastern's only double-figure scorer in a game dominated by defense. Pierlioni scored nine points and followed Carter with seven rebounds. Both clubs shot well under 40 percent from the floor but combined for only 27 turnovers, with Carter charged with only one turnover in 36 minutes.

Both of Williams' double-digit scorers are freshmen. Jennie Harding scored a game-high 15 points for the Ephs, who received ten points off the bench from Rhenquist.

Prior to Carter's tie-breaking layup, the Ephs had a chance to take the lead, but Harding was off target on a three-ball. Eastern junior point guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) grabbed the rebound and Carter finished off the trip down the floor with her go-ahead twisting lay-up from underneath the hoop.

YORK HAS TOO MUCH FOR EASTERN M-BASKETBALL IN 92-72 VICTORY

Cardinals get dividends from unexpected source to down Warriors at CNU

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgNEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team knew that it had to contain the outside shooting of senior Nicholas Hamilton-Lopez and the inside dominance of junior Marcel Esonwune if it hoped to defeat York College (NY) in the opening round of the 13th Annual Captains Shootout Saturday afternoon at the Freeman Center.

Above: Broderick Sawyer of Eastern and Marcel Esonwune of York battle for position. 

And while the Warriors were successful on both counts in the first half, they were  blindsided  by the offensive contributions of senior wing Elijah Evelyn, who scored 17 points in the final seven minutes of the first half to turn the tide in favor of the Cardinals, who eventually pulled away for a 92-72 victory in a game pitting two teams in their first official action in three weeks.

With its fifth win in its last six games, York (6-5) moves into the tournament championship game Sunday at 4 p.m. against host Christopher Newport University (5-4). Eastern (7-2) plays in the consolation game Sunday at 2 p.m. against Westfield State College (6-5). In Saturday's second first-round game, Christopher Newport downed Westfield, 77-60.

Averaging less than ten points per game with seven total three-point field goals this year, Evelyn led all players with 31 points - three times his season average -- and Hamilton-Lopez totaled 28. The pair combined to sink 11 of 20 from three-point range. Ranked fifth nationally with an average of 4.1, Hamilton-Lopez was 6-for-12 from beyond the arc and Evelyn was 5-for-8.

Below: Nick Nedwick defends against Nicholas Hamilton-Lopez

nedwick72_0962.jpgEsonwune entered play leading Division III in rebounding (15.5 ppg.) and blocked shots (4.1 bpg.) but was limited to nine rebounds and two blocks by an assortment of Eastern defenders who held him to only eight field goal attempts and one offensive rebound. Looking to pad his national-leading total for blocked shots, Esonwune was twice whistled for goaltending on shots by Eastern freshman post player Chris Robitaille (Canton) with a minute left in the first half and sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) two minutes into the second half.

Eastern trailed by only two points with seven minutes left in the first half before Evelyn went on a tear by scoring seven straight points and  17 of his team's final 21 points of the half to boost the Cardinals into a 15-point, 45-30 lead.  He scored his points on a combination of three-point field goals, drives to the basket, and turnaround jumps.

After being limited to eight points by Eastern in the first half (none over the final 11 minutes),  Hamilton-Lopez finally got untracked in the second half, scoring 20 points in six minutes late in the second half  to spark York to the rout.

 Trailing by 24 points five minutes into the second half, the Warriors went on a 22-7 run - getting points from four different players in a 9-0 burst - to pull to within nine, 65-56, with nine minutes left. With York coming out of its own timeout, the left-handed-shooting Hamilton-Lopez then buried a long three-pointer in front of his own bench--the first of three straight that he converted in as many York possessions in a span of just over a minute. After hitting those three three-pointers, Hamilton-Lopez then fed Ryan Exum after a York steal to give the Cardinals an 18-point, 76-58 lead with seven minutes left and he added six more points in 63 seconds soon after as York pulled away.

Although Eastern led only once (by a point in the opening minutes) in the game, the Warriors sparred with the Cardinals until seven minutes remained in the first half. Guards Edwin Ortiz (Hartford), Jamie Kohn (Columbia) and Courtney Simmons (Middletown) all threw down three-pointers  to keep the Warriors within striking distance. With eight minutes left in the first half, sophomore Jeremy Thompson (Berlin) then drew an offensive foul  and Ortiz' followed with a corner 'three' on a pass from Robitaille  to make it a two-point game, 24-22. The rest of the half belonged to Evelyn, however, who outscored Eastern 7-2 over the next 60 seconds to tilt the momentum York's way.

Ortiz led four modest double-digit Eastern scorers with 14 points, Kohn adding 13, Simmons 11 off the bench and Thompson ten.

Eastern cleared the bench in the final minutes, with freshman guard Edward Spain (North Windham) seeing his first varsity minutes. First-year junior forward Jordan Levy (Woodbury) totaled his first collegiate points on his first shot with an off-balance put-back with 11 minutes left.