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W-Basketball: Defense Boosts Warriors

Eastern holds Plymouth scoreless from floor for 11 minutes in 56-33 win

mcbride_yarb_72dpi0213.jpgPLYMOUTH, NH - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team scored 16 consecutive points after spotting Plymouth State University the first basket of the game, holding the Panthers scoreless from the floor for 11 minutes in easing to a 56-33 Little East Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium.

At left: Taylor McBride (Photo by Cris Yarborough)

The conference win is the third straight for Eastern (8-13, 6-4 Little East), completes the season sweep of Plymouth (1-19, 0-10 Little East) and moves the Warriors out of a three-way tied for third place in the conference into a two-way tie for third with Rhode Island College, which downed host Massachusetts Boston, 68-50. Massachusetts Dartmouth fell from a tie for third into fifth place following a 78-74 loss to host Western Connecticut.

Eight different players contributed points when the Warriors outscored the Panthers 21-2 over 11 minutes in the first half, holding the hosts to two just two free throws in that span. Eastern, which scored 11 points in a row after Plymouth scored the initial two points of the game, got a three-point field goal, three steals and two rebounds from freshman guard Victoria Pfohl (Trumbull) in that stretch, with sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) adding a basket, three rebounds and a steal, freshman Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA) four points, three rebounds and an assist, and freshman Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) four points and three rebounds.

Plymouth helped the Warriors in that decisive early stretch by missing ten straight shots and commiting five turnovers on 17 possessions. The Panthers shot under 30 percent from the floor in the game.

Eastern, which has limited two of its last three conference opponents to less than 40 points, was led by Ritrosky, who recorded her fourth double-double of the season with ten points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Leonard led the Warriors with 12 points and added six rebounds, with sophomore guard Taylor McBride (Willimantic) matching her season high with six assists.

In her fifth career game, freshman guard Avi Morrison (Hampton, NH) contributed a career-high eight points - all in the second half. Morrison and Pfohl both dropped in two three-point field goals in the contest.

Ten Eastern players pulled down at least one rebound to lift the visitors to a 48-29 advantage on the boards.

Eastern hosts Western Connecticut Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Colonials, who remained one game behind LEC leader University of Southern Maine with its four-point win over UMass Dartmouth, downed Eastern, 60-48 Jan. 15.


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