BIDDEFORD, Maine – The Curry College women's basketball team got off to a slow start and couldn't make up for lost time in a 78-45 loss to the University of New England (UNE) on Tuesday evening. Following the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) contest, the Nor'easters sit at 17-5 overall and improve to 11-2 in league play. The Colonels move to 4-18 on the year with a 2-11 CCC mark.
The game started out with the teams splitting the game's first eight points, working the score to a 4-4 tie over the opening two-and-a-half minutes. However, the Colonels' first four points would be the only baskets they'd score in the first quarter. Over the next four minutes, the hosts scored nine unanswered points to build a 13-4 lead, but their offense would also soon go quiet. The score did not change over the final three minutes and 44 seconds of the opening stanza, as the teams combined to go 0-for-5 from the floor with eight turnovers.
26 seconds into play in the second quarter, a Kaylee Beyor (South Burlington, Vt.) bucket accounted for UNE's first points in over four minutes of play, before a jumper by Kathryn Dunn (Hanson, Mass.) a minute later broke Curry's scoring drought as well. With just over six minutes to play in the frame, the teams again traded baskets, bringing the score to 18-8. Over the remainder of the first half, though, the Nor'easters jumped on a 19-4 run, taking advantage of their visitors' inconsistent shooting percentage and bringing a 37-12 lead into halftime.
After scoring just 12 points in the opening half, Curry's offense began to right the ship out of the locker room. Dunn and Kirsten Smith (East Bridgewater, Mass.) each scored five points in the third quarter, with the team scoring 19 points as a whole. However, UNE continued to roll, extending their lead to 34 points at 65-31 as the quarter concluded.
The Colonels worked hard to fight back in the fourth, scoring on three of their first four possessions, but their hosts continued to keep them at bay. Five different players scored for Curry in the final frame to help them outscore UNE 14-13, but it would not be enough to overcome the lead the Nor'easters had built throughout the early stages of the contest, as UNE secured the conference win by a score of 78-45.
In the loss, the Colonel offense was led by Dunn, who turned in 13 points. Katie Smith (East Bridgewater, Mass.) captured the team-lead in assists with five, while three players grabbed four boards each for Curry, in Gina Coote (Dedham, Mass.), Lillian Gray (Brooksville, Maine), and Kaitlynn Smith (Hull, Mass.). On UNE's side, Sadie Nelson (Windham, Maine) led all players with 21 points, while Jocelyn Chaput (Nashua, N.H.) flirted with a triple-double, contributing game-highs in both rebounds (8) and helpers (10) to go along with 10 points.
The Colonels will aim to rebound as they host the Bison of Nichols College on Saturday, February 15. Tip is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., which will be preceded by the team's Senior Day celebration. Curry will look to avoid the season sweep, after falling to the Bison by a score of 70-57 on January 18. The Nor'easters will also get back to work on Saturday at 1 o'clock, as they travel to face Western New England University in a game ripe with playoff implications. In the teams' first contest this year, the Golden Bears outmatched UNE in a low-scoring affair, 53-42, also played on January 18.