MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College women's basketball team battled the Western New England (WNE) Golden Bears on Saturday afternoon in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) match-up, but came up just short, falling by a final score of 60-52. Following the loss, the Colonels sit at 4-17 overall with a 2-10 mark in the CCC. The Golden Bears improve their conference record to 11-2 and now sit at 18-4 on the year as a whole.
The teams traded scores early, until a layup by Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) and a pair of converted free throws by Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) gave the visitors a 9-5 lead with just under six minutes to play in the first. Despite trailing by two possessions, the Colonels fought back, scoring seven of the frame's final nine points, to take a 12-11 advantage into the first break.
Kirsten Smith (East Bridgewater, Mass.) added to the lead to get the scoring started in the second, as a layup moved the score to 14-11. A basket by Farrell cut the WNE deficit to one, but three-pointers on three of Curry's next four possessions earned them a 23-16 edge, which pushed the Golden Bears to call a timeout. Out of the pause, the Colonels remained in control, increasing their lead to eight points at 28-20. However, the hosts would close the half 0-for-3 from the floor, allowing the Golden Bears to cut the lead in half, sending the teams to the intermission with the scoreboard showing 28-24.
As the second half kicked off, WNE scored three straight to make it 28-27, but a jumper by Alexa Galluci (North Stonington, Conn.) reinstated the Colonels' three-point edge at 30-27. The Golden Bears stayed with it, though, manufacturing an offensive stretch spanning over a full minute of play, thanks to three offensive rebounds and a Colonel foul. Sydney Fisher (Strafford, N.H.) found Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) under the basket to cap the possession with a score, which gave the visitors their first lead since the final minute of the first quarter, 31-30. Curry managed to retake the lead twice over the last five minutes of the stanza, but a foul called as the clock expired led to Farrell converting a pair from the charity stripe to send WNE into the fourth quarter with a 39-37 advantage.
The fourth quarter played out like a game of cat-and-mouse, as the Golden Bears continued to score to remain just ahead of their hosts. A WNE layup to make it 41-37 was followed promptly by a pair of Curry free throws to cut it to two, 41-39. Back-to-back buckets by the visitors were countered by four unanswered Curry points, 45-43. Two more baskets by the Golden Bears were met by a three-pointer from Katie Smith (East Bridgewater, Mass.), 49-46. However, after cutting their deficit once more to two at 51-49 with 2:21 to play, the Colonels began to falter. WNE poured on the offense, using a 7-0 run over the next two minutes of play to tighten their grip on the lead, allowing Curry to score just two more points in the contest before finishing things off, departing with a hard-fought 60-52 victory.
The Colonel offense was led by Kathryn Dunn (Hanson, Mass.), who racked up 14 points. Gina Coote (Dedham, Mass.) topped the team with 10 rebounds while Kir. Smith rounded out the team-leaders with five helpers. Lauren Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) led the Golden Bears with nine boards, while sharing the team-lead in assists with Julia Quinn (Thomaston, Conn.), as each player turned in four. Carlson topped all shooters with a game-high 21 points.
The Colonels will continue their conference schedule when they head to Biddeford, Maine to face the University of New England at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11. In the teams' first contest this year, the Nor'easters departed with a 61-48 victory. WNE will also resume CCC play on Tuesday at 5:30, as they travel to face Nichols College. WNE will look to sweep the season series, following a January 15 match-up that saw the Golden Bears down the Bison by a score of 74-46. Additionally, WNE has two players who will look to notch their 1,000th career points in the game, as Orbann (4) and Farrell (15) each depart Milton within 15 points of their respective milestones.