SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England University women's basketball team used a strong defensive performance to pull away from Curry College in the first half en route to a 78-40 victory this evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
• Junior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) made 3-of-5 three-point attempts and 4-of-4 free throws on her way to a game-high 13 points.
• Senior guard Sammie Battaini (Leominster, Mass.) added 11 points, two rebounds and two assists.
• Senior forward Emily Anderson (Rocky Hill, Conn.) posted her first double-double of the season with ten points, ten rebounds and three blocks.
• A pair of three-pointers by Plunkett and sophomore Emily Irwin (Billerica, Mass.) had Curry ahead 6-5 just over six minutes into the contest, as the Golden Bears missed seven of their first nine field goal attempts.
• O'Neill answered with a trey on Western New England's next possession, however, sparking a 14-4 run to end the quarter that saw the Golden Bears open up a 19-10 advantage through ten minutes.
• Western New England used strong defense and free throw shooting to extend its lead in the second quarter, as the Golden Bears limited Curry to 18.8% (3-of-16) shooting while connecting on 13-of-14 (92.9%) attempts from the charity stripe in the period. Battaini sank two free throws at the 6:38 mark to make it an 11-point game (25-14), and the lead reached 17 (31-14) after sophomore Meghan Gilhool (Montrose, Pa.) knocked down two more with just under three minutes left in the half. Western New England held a commanding 39-17 lead at the break after O'Neill connected from beyond the arc with two seconds on the clock.
• The Golden Bears continued to add to their lead in the third quarter, as O'Neill drained another three-pointer midway through the frame and freshman Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) converted a layup with 3:42 left to give Western New England a 28-point cushion (48-20).
• A 9-2 run over the first 3:19 of the fourth quarter allowed the Golden Bears to open up a 33-point advantage (62-29), and they would go on to win by 38.
• Western New England shot 42.9% (24-of-56) from the field while limiting Curry to a 22.9% (16-of-70) clip.
• The Golden Bears attempted 33 free throws, their second highest total this season, and made 26 (78.8%).
• Western New England's 38-point win represents its eighth 20+ point victory this season, and also snaps the Golden Bears' two-game losing streak.
• The Golden Bears held a 54-38 rebounding advantage and got 37 points from their reserves.
Western New England (11-4, 7-2 CCC) will be on the road this Saturday at Gordon, while Curry (5-11, 3-6 CCC) returns home Saturday to host Roger Williams at 1 p.m.
(Game Recap Courtesy of Western New England University Sports Information)