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Women's Basketball: Slow Start Costly

 reunion_72_9982.jpgPlayers and coaches from the 2003 team which qualified for the NCAA Division III FInal Four and reached the national championship game were recognized on their 10th Anniversary following Saturday's game against the University of Southern Maine


mccourtUSM72_9847.jpgFirst-half missed shots, turnovers keep Warriors from challenging USM

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior forwards Haley Jordan and Jordan Grant combined to outscore the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team in the first half and unbeaten University of Southern Maine coasted to its 17th straight win, 69-55, in a Little East Conference game Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At right: Shannon McCourt shoots over Rebecca Knight of Southern Maine in the first half of Saturday's 69-55 Little East Conference loss. (Photo by Krysta Valerio)

Ranked 16th nationally, Southern Maine (17-0, 7-0 Little East) finished off the regular-season sweep of Eastern (5-12, 3-4 Little East), which had won its two previous LEC home games.

Eastern missed 18 of 22 shots in the first half and turned the ball over 11 times and found itself trailing by 19, 35-16, at the break. Leading by three, Southern Maine outscored Eastern 24-5 over 13 minutes of the first half to take its largest lead of the half, 35-13, with 70 seconds left.

Jordan had 11 points and Grant ten in the first half for Southern Maine, with Jordan connecting on all three of the three-pointers she attempted in the game. The pair led the Huskies with 18 points each in the game, combining on 13-of-18 field goal shooting. Senior guard Nicole Garland added 14 points (four three-pointers) and seven rebounds and junior guard Erin McNamara  contributed 11 points and four steals for USM, which got all but six points from its starters and never trailed in the game.

Sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) of Eastern led both teams with 22 points, but was held scoreless over the first ten minutes and totaled 16 of her points with Eastern out of contention in the second half. Freshman forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA) followed McCourt with 11 points and matched her with eight rebounds. Freshman forward Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) of Eastern led all players in the game with a collegiate-high 11 rebounds, giving her 21 boards in the last two games.

Eastern visits Keene State College Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.


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