O'Neill nets team-high 22 points, Gilhool adds career-high 19
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 29, 2017) – The Western New England University women's basketball team fell to Framingham State University 90-89 in overtime at the Land of Magic Classic on Friday evening at the Ocean Center.
The Golden Bears, who led 45-40 at halftime, surrendered a 9-0 run to start the second half. Western New England overcame a five-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to force the extra period, before rallying from another five-point deficit to claim a lead in the final seconds of overtime. Framingham State came out on top, however, with a buzzer-beating baseline jumper by senior guard Raegan Mulherin (Baldwinville, Mass.).
• Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) led the way for the Golden Bears with a team-high 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. O'Neill, who scored 18 of her points in the second half, including 11 in the fourth quarter, is now just 14 shy of 1,000 for her career.
• Junior guard Meghan Gilhool (Montrose, Pa.) recorded a career-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-10 from three-point distance, to go with five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
• Sophomore forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) posted her first career double-double with a career-best 16 points and ten boards, while classmate Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and eight rebounds.
• Framingham State was led by sophomore guard Mary Kate O'Day (Berlin, Mass.), who poured in a game-high 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, 6-of-12 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. O'Day also grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists while playing all 45 minutes of the contest.
• Mulherin totaled 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals, while junior forward Tiphani Harris (Revere, Mass.) contributed 18 points and eight boards.
• Both teams got off to a strong start offensively, as the Golden Bears shot 10-of-17 (58.8%) from the field in the opening quarter and Framingham State connected at a 50 percent (9-of-18) clip. Western New England scored the first four points of the game and led 12-7 following Carlson's third consecutive basket at the 5:33 mark. The Golden Bears held their largest advantage of nine (21-12) after junior Caroline Niland (Waltham, Mass.) connected from beyond the arc with 3:27 left in the period, but the Rams were able to cut their deficit to three (25-22) with a 10-4 run to end the frame.
• A three-pointer from Gilhool followed by a Carlson jumper 22 seconds later pushed Western New England's lead back to seven (30-23) at the 8:37 mark of the second quarter. The Golden Bears matched their biggest lead (37-28) when sophomore guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) completed a three-point play with 4:24 left in the half, but a 7-0 Framingham State run closed the gap to two a minute and a half later. Western New England scored the next six points and closed out the half with an 8-5 run to establish a 45-40 advantage at the break.
• Framingham State claimed its first lead (46-45) when Harris made the first of two free throws 2:41 into the third quarter, part of a 9-0 run to open the second half. Farrell snapped Western New England's drought with a jumper midway through the period, but the Golden Bears still faced a seven-point deficit (62-55) with 1:15 left in the third. Western New England scored the final six points of the quarter with baskets from Orbann, Gilhool and O'Neill to pull to within one heading into the fourth.
• Western New England briefly regained the lead on a Gilhool layup 27 seconds into the fourth quarter, and after the teams traded three-pointers, Harris put the Rams back in front with a layup at the 8:05 mark. Framingham held two separate five-point leads later in the quarter, including an 81-76 cushion with 1:39 left in the contest following a pair of free throws by O'Day. O'Neill pulled the Golden Bears back to within two with a clutch trey 15 seconds later, and a key steal and layup by Orbann with 27 seconds left tied the contest. After O'Day sank two more free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Rams a two-point edge, O'Neill was fouled from behind with two seconds on the clock and made both free throws to send the contest to overtime.
• After Framingham State scored the first five points of the extra period, Gilhool connected from beyond the arc with 1:38 remaining to make it a two-point game. Carlson completed a three-point play with three seconds remaining to put the Golden Bears ahead, but Mulherin hit a baseline jumper with one second left to cap the thrilling contest.
• Framingham State shot 65.2 percent from the field in the second half and 47.1 percent for the game. The Golden Bears shot 55.9 percent in the first half and 48 percent overall.
• Western New England's 89 points are its most since scoring 97 in last December's 97-93 victory at Westfield State.
• O'Neill finished one point shy of matching her career-high of 23 points.
Western New England (6-4) will be back in action next Thursday, when the Golden Bears return home to host Gordon College in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at 5:30 p.m. Framingham State (6-6) travels to Fitchburg State next Saturday, January 6.