SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Junior guard Carrie Bunnell (Barnet, VT) came off the bench to score 16 points and sophomore guard Kelley Paradis (Newport, ME) added 12 points to lead the University of New England women’s basketball team to a 57-54 victory over Western New England College Saturday afternoon (Jan. 30) at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
The Nor’easters, who bounced back from a 56-54 loss at Regis Thursday that snapped a 10-game win streak, are now 15-4. UNE is tied for first in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) with a 6-1 mark.
Western New England College led 31-28 at the break before the visitors opened the second half with a 10-4 run to take a 38-35 lead following a lay-up by Bunnell with 8:23 left.
Each team exchanged leads over the next six minutes before WNEC went ahead 49-46 advantage following a lay-up by freshman guard Emily Savino (Ellington, CT) at the 2:31 mark.
A short time later Bunnell made two free throws to give the Nor’easters a 51-49 edge with 1:21 remaining before senior guard Kailah Al-Darraji (Dover, NH) sank a long three-pointer to put the Golden Bears ahead by a point with 1:01 left.
Sophomore guard Kari Pelletier (South Paris, ME) then made two free throws and Bunnell swished in two more charity attempts to put UNE ahead 55-52 with 17.1 seconds on the clock.
Rather than go for a three-pointer, Al-Darraji drove in for a lay-up with 7.3 seconds and the Golden Bears immediately fouled Bunnell on the in-bounds pass.
The strategy almost worked when Bunnell missed the free throw, but Pelletier came up with a clutch steal and was fouled. Despite missing the two ensuing free throws, senior forward Katie Diggins (Merrimack, NH) came up with a key offensive rebounds and converted both free throws with 1.4 seconds left for the win.
Freshman center Elena Radzikowski (Medway, MA) tossed in a season high 19 points for Western New England College with three assists and two steals. Al-Darraji made four-of-five three-pointers and finished with 16 points and four rebounds.
Western New England College falls to 11-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference.