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W-Basketball: Warriors Rally Past UMD

Eastern overcomes 11-point halftime deficit to win in overtime, 54-51


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team erased an 11-point halftime deficit and sophomore guard Kristina Forsman (Newington) scored eight of the team's ten points in overtime with six free throws and a perimeter basket as the Warriors ended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's seven-game winning streak with a 54-51 Little East Conference victory Tuesday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Kristina Forsman saved eight of her ten game points for overtime in Tuesday's LEC victory over UMass Dartmouth.

The conference win is the second straight for Eastern (4-9, 2-2 Little East) while UMass Dartmouth (10-2, 3-1 Little East) - off to its best start in program history -- lost for the first time in four conference games. The Corsairs dropped into a two-way tie for second place in the conference behind undefeated University of Southern Maine. Eastern is one of three teams sharing fourth place.

Eastern never trailed after taking its first lead of the game with 2:20 left on a pair of free throws from freshman forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA), but 6-foot-1 inch senior forward Colleen Moriarty of UMass tied the game with a turnaround bucket in the paint with ten seconds left in regulation. Following a timeout, Eastern inbounded at halfcourt with 4.2 seconds left with a chance to win in regulation, but the Warriors turned the ball over and UMass sophomore guard Kelsey Garrity  nearly converted a two-on-one break, but the ball would not drop as the horn ending regulation sounded.

The Warriors scored the first six points of overtime on two free throws each from Forsman and Ritrosky and a jump shot from the top of the key from Forsman that made it 50-44 with 1:48 left.

Ritrosky tied her season high with 14 points and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds. Freshman forward Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) got Eastern back in contention in the second half by scoring eight of her ten points and pulling down seven of her nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) added 11 points and 13 rebounds  for her fourth double-double of the season. Forsman had ten points, four rebounds and four assists.

Leading by nine with 12 minutes left, the Corsairs went scoreless from the floor on 12 tries (0-for-6 from three) and the Warriors went on an 8-0 run ignited by Leonard's three-point play to cut the gap to one with 5:25 left. Later, they took their first lead, 42-40 on an inside bucket by Ritrosky with 1:44 remaining in regulation.

UMass missed its first 24 three-point field goals before freshman forward  Colleen Kane cut a six-point Eastern lead to three with 42 seconds left in overtime with her team's only three-pointer in 26 attempts.

Moriarty led the Corsairs with 12 points and six rebounds before fouling out with  2:52 left in overtime and her team trailing by two points.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Boston Saturday at 1 p.m. in a conference game.


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