Senior captain finishes with 15 points, four assists in CCC triumph
DUDLEY, Mass. (January 6, 2018) – Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) reached the 1,000-point milestone for her career as the Western New England University women's basketball team posted a 64-53 victory over Nichols College on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Nichols Athletic Center.
• O'Neill, who entered Saturday's contest with 986 career points, finished with 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field, 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. The senior captain also added four assists and one steal.
• Freshman forward Emily Scurka (Billerica, Mass.) recorded 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, all season-highs, in 19 minutes off the bench.
• Sophomore forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) was also in double figures with 12 points and five boards.
• Nichols was led by sophomore guard Jessica Larsh (Bolton, Conn.), who scored a game-high 19 points with the help of a 10-for-10 effort at the charity stripe.
• Freshman guard Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.) tallied eight points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Bison.
After being held scoreless over the first three minutes of the contest, O'Neill found junior guard Meghan Gilhool (Montrose, Pa.) for an open three pointer to get the Golden Bears on the board at the 6:56 mark. Trailing 9-5 midway through the first quarter, Western New England surged ahead with three straight baskets from Scurka, and led 11-9 after ten minutes of play.
The Golden Bears carried their momentum into the second period, as a layup by Scurka 2:26 into the frame sparked a 10-0 run that saw Western New England establish its first double-digit advantage (25-13) with 4:52 on the clock. The Golden Bears led by as much as 15 (30-15) after O'Neill connected from beyond the arc with three minutes remaining in the half, before settling for a 34-20 cushion at the break.
After five straight points from Nerney to open the third quarter allowed the Bison to pull back to within nine (34-25), O'Neill nailed a pair of treys a minute and a half apart to give the Golden Bears their largest lead of the game (41-25) at the 6:45 mark. Nichols stayed in the contest, however, as the home team was able to close the gap to 11 (48-37) heading into the fourth.
The Bison got as close as seven (50-43) following a pair of Larsh free throws with 7:38 remaining, but Western New England held Nichols without a point over the next two and a half minutes as the Golden Bears pushed their lead back into double figures. Two O'Neill free throws with 3:30 left upped the advantage to 60-47, and the senior knocked down a jumper at the 2:05 mark for her 999th and 1000th career points to make it 63-49 and help Western New England seal the win.
• O'Neill becomes the 15th 1,000-point scorer in program history and third in the last three years for Western New England, after Chelsea Vujs and Emily Anderson accomplished the feat in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
• The Golden Bears outrebounded the Bison 39-25 led by Scurka and Gilhool, who recorded seven and six, respectively.
• Sophomore guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) contributed seven points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday, as Western New England (7-4, 3-1 CCC) travels to Endicott and Nichols (3-7, 1-3 CCC) hits the road to take on Curry.