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W-Basketball: Freshmen Shine in Loss

Ritrosky, Leonard combine for 30 points, 20 rebounds against Western

ritrosky_72_9226.jpgDANBURY, Conn. --  Freshman forward Sha'Quira Palmer came off the bench to double to season scoring average with a team-high 17 points and the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team never trailed in a 60-48 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Tuesday night at Feldman Arena.

At left: Jill Ritrosky

A winner of its previous three conference games, Eastern (5-11, 3-4 Little East) falls into a two-way tie for fifth place in the conference with its sixth straight loss at the hands of Western (11-5, 4-2 Little East), which moves into a three-way tie for second place in the conference behind unbeaten LEC leader University of Southern Maine.

Averaging just under eight points per game this year, Palmer collected seven of her points from the free throw line (in ten tries) and also topped her team with seven rebounds.

Trailing by six at halftime after shooting over 50 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, Eastern shot just 29.4 percent from the floor in the second half, finishing under 40 percent from the floor in the game for the tenth time this year.

The Warriors stayed within striking distance throughout the second half but were unable to cut the deficit to single digits after the hosts upped the margin to ten nine minutes into the second half.

Freshmen forwards Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA) and Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) combined for 30 points and 20 rebounds to pace Eastern. Ritrosky totaled a season-high 18 points and finished with her second double-double in four games with a game-high ten rebounds. Leonard recorded her first double-double with 12 points and a career-high ten rebounds.

Eastern sophomore scoring leaders Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) and Kristina Forsman (Newington) combined for only nine points on 4-for-21 shooting from the floor. Forsman handed out six assists, however, and added four steals in 40 minutes and McCourt pulled down six rebounds.

Eastern limited Western scoring leader Caroline Brasa to five points. Carly Murphy followed Palmer with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds to help the Colonials to their fourth straight win with their seventh home triumph in nine contests. Eastern fells to 2-8 this season away from home.

Eastern hosts the University of Southern Maine Saturday at 1 p.m.


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