SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Freshman guard Emily Savino (Ellington, CT) came off the bench to score a career high 30 points as the Western New England College women’s basketball team defeated visiting Endicott 97-91 in double overtime Saturday (Jan. 16) at the Alumni Healthful Living Center (AHLC).
This was the seventh straight win for the Golden Bears who raised their record to 10-3 overall and 3-0 in the conference. Endicott falls to 8-5 and 2-1 after suffering its first conference loss.
WNEC and Endicott came into the contest undefeated in league and both squads combined for the highest scoring game in the Golden Bears’ 44-year history covering 1,087 games. This also was the most points scored by Western New England College since a 99-32 win over Pine Manor on December 5, 1992.
There were numerous outstanding performances by players on each team.
Savino, who missed Thursday’s 58-53 win at Emerson with an ankle injury, was sensational making 9-of-15 shots from the field and 11-of-14 free throws in 35 minutes.
Also scoring in double figures were junior guard Taryn Belowsky (New Haven, CT) who had her best outing of the year with 16 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and a pair of steals. Senior guard Kailah Al-Darraji (Dover, NH) added 15 points, five rebounds, four rebounds, and three steals.
Freshman center Elena Radzikowski (Medway, MA) didn’t play in the first half, but finished with 15 points (7-of-11 from the floor) and nine rebounds in 25 minutes.
Junior forward Kelly McCormick (Manchester, CT) pulled down a career high 17 rebounds as the Golden Bears held a 54-32 advantage off the boards. Junior guard Loren Stock (Rocky Hill, CT) chipped-in with seven points and five rebounds while freshman guard Shelby Van Huysen (Killingworth, CT) had six points and two assists.
Endicott scored the first six points of the game and held a 41-40 lead at halftime. The Gulls took an eight-point lead (53-45) following a basket by senior center Ceciley Chisholm (Lexington, MA) at the 15:33 mark of regulation.
WNEC used a 17-8 run to go ahead 62-61 following a three-pointer by Belowsky with 9:24 left.
Neither team held more than a four-point lead down the stretch and the Golden Bears appeared headed for the win when Belowsky sank two free throws with 15.9 seconds remaining.
Endicott moved the ball quickly up court and tied the game with 7.1 seconds remaining when junior guard Ashley Wright (Merrimack, NH) drained a long three-pointer from the right side. Savino missed a runner in the lane to send the contest into the first extra session with the scored tied at 78-78.
There were two ties in the first overtime and the Gulls had a chance for the victory, but Radzikowski blocked a lay-up by Chisholm with one-second left to force another five-minute session.
Western New England College built a 93-87 advantage when Belowsky made a lay-up with 1:30 left and the Gulls couldn’t get any closer than four in the final minute.
Endicott had four players finish in double figures, including three with 20-point games.
Chisholm was brilliant with 28 points (11-of-18 from the field), seven rebounds and three assists in 48 minutes.
Wright was equally impressive playing the entire 50 minutes and finishing with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four assists.
Junior center Ashley Vitale (Wilmington, MA) had a terrific contest with 20 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots. Senior guard Kaylin Burke (Leominster, MA) added 12 points, a game-high eight assists, and three steals.
Both teams shot well with Western New England College finishing at 47.8% and Endicott at 44.9%.