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W-Basketball: Bowdoin Downs Warriors

leonard72_3060.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team missed its final ten shots of the first half, allowing Bowdoin College to break a tie and score the final six points of the session on the way to a 61-50 non-conference victory Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At left: Brianna Leonard splits Bowdoin defenders Kirsten Prue (10) and Megan Phelps (32) for two of her career-high 17 points in the first half Tuesday. (Photo by Courtney Weber).

The win is the fourth straight in the series for Bowdoin (11-8), which has won three straight. Eastern (7-13) had a two-game winning streak snapped in falling under .500 (4-5) at home.

There were four ties and three lead changes before the Polar Bears took the lead for good with just under five minutes left in the first half. While Eastern failed on ten field goals over the remainder of the half, Bowdoin got a pair of free throws from senior guard Kaitlin Donahoe and two inside baskets from  freshman forward Shannon Brady  to take a six-point, 27-21, lead into the lockeroom. Donahoe assisted on both of Brady's baskets in the final minutes of the half.

After the Warriors pulled to within a point six minutes into the second half on a defensive rebound and jumper from freshman forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA), the Polar Bears ripped off 15 unanswered points over a span of five minutes to build their largest lead, 48-32, with nine minutes left. Five different Bowdoin playerrs fueled that run with points, with sophomore guard Sara Binkhorst and junior guard Kristen Prue  nailing three-pointers, with junior forward Anna Prohl adding a conventional three-point play.

On seven possessions in that Bowdoin run, Eastern missed four field goals and two free throws and turned the ball over twice.

Eastern freshman forward Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) topped Eastern with a career-high 17 points, with Ritrosky following with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

After being limited to just four points in the first half, team scoring leader Donahoe equaled her season average with a team-high 15 points for Bowdoin, with Binkhorst adding 13 points, nine coming on three-point field goals. Five Bowdoin players grabbed either five or six rebounds.

Eastern visits Plymouth State University Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.


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