BY COLE McNANNA // FEB. 6, 2016
The Curry College women’s basketball team kept pace with undefeated University of New England until the final minutes in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action Saturday afternoon before they lost 64-47.
With the loss, the Colonels are pushed back to 9-12 on the season and 6-8 in conference play, while the Nor’easters improve to 18-3 overall and remain unbeaten in conference play with a record of 14-0.
Curry raced out of the gate with the game’s first five points, courtesy of a three-pointer from junior Alyssa Keeney, and a pair of free-throws from freshman Emily Irwin. They retained the lead until Nor’easters junior Alicia Brown hit a jumper to lock the game up with 10 points apiece.
Five lead changes ensued before the end of the first quarter and Brown finished out the scoring, breaking the tie by making both of her free-throw attempts to put the the Colonels at a 16-15 disadvantage heading into the second quarter.
UNE senior Meghan Gribbin started the scoring by hitting a three-pointer to spread the Nor’easter’s lead by four points to put the score at 19-15. The second quarter featured the same back and forth action, with both teams trading baskets to the tune of three different lead changes.
With 4:31 left in the half, Irwin tied the game with a layup and senior Christina Deiorio followed with a jumper to take back the lead for the Colonels, putting the score at 22-20. The teams evened out the scoring at 24 each over the last 4:08 of the half.
Irwin and senior Kerry White led Curry, each scoring five points in the first half. White also pulled down four rebounds while senior Shannon Griffith led the team with five total rebounds. She added two points, and Deiorio finished the half with four points.
Brown was the star of the first half, scoring 11 points and notching three boards. Junior Brooke Flaherty and senior Alanna Vose added depth and pulled down four rebounds apiece.
Keeney started the third quarter with a spark by hitting a three-pointer, but the Nor’easters responded with a 10-0 run over the first 4:38 to take a large lead with a score of 34-27.
Freshman Molly Plunkett made a layup under the basket to start back and forth action with both teams trading scores over the last 4:08 to come to a score of 45-38 after three full quarters.
Curry chipped the lead down to only four points with a score of 49-45 after Keeney drew a foul on her three-point attempt and nailed her free-throws. However, from that point on the Nor’easters got further and further away from the Colonels, while Curry only made one more basket. The game ended with UNE winning handily 64-47.
Head Coach Fran Elms said that despite the loss, playing an undefeated team like UNE isn’t a total set back. He said, “Overall I’m happy with the direction we’re going. It’s a loss and I’m not happy with that, but we are improving.”
Game of Inches: Curry shot an impressive 94.1% from the free-throw line, scoring 16 of their 47 total points from the charity stripe.
Weariness Leads to Poor Rebounding?: Coach Elms added that “we had a little fatigue set in in the second half and we let them have too many rebounds. They out-rebounded us by 16 so it’s not going to help us on second-chances.”
Road Ahead: The Colonels return to conference action on Wednesday evening as they host Western New England University for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.