Western New England outscores UNE 38-26 in second half
BIDDEFORD, Maine (January 13, 2018) – The Western New England University women's basketball team surged past the University of New England late in the third quarter and held off the Nor'easters in the fourth to earn a 70-62 victory on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Harold Alfond Forum.
• Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) led all players with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field, 4-of-9 from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 from the free throw line to go with a career-high matching seven rebounds, two assists and one steal. O'Neill helped fuel Western New England's momentum-swinging third quarter with 14 points in the frame.
• Junior guard Meghan Gilhool (Montrose, Pa.) recorded 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal, while sophomore guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) contributed 12 points, seven boards and five assists.
• Sophomore forward Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) rounded out Western New England's four double-figure scorers with 11 points to go along with two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
• Senior center Sam MacDonald (Lebanon, N.H.) paced the Nor'easters with a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
• Sophomore guard Ashley Coneys (Dover, N.H.) totaled 12 points, three boards, one assist, one steal and one block, while classmate Jocelyn Chaput (Nashua, N.H.) added eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Western New England, which scored the final five points of the first half to close to within four (36-32) at the break, cut its deficit to one (38-37) on a layup by sophomore Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) at the 6:39 mark of the third quarter.
After UNE stretched its lead back to six (45-39) midway through the third, O'Neill scored 11 straight points for Western New England, including a triple that gave the Golden Bears a 48-47 lead with 2:34 on the clock. Farrell completed a four-point play with 40 seconds left in the quarter, before knocking down a jumper in the final seconds to put Western New England ahead 56-52 heading into the fourth.
The Golden Bears never relinquished their advantage over the final ten minutes of play. Gilhool connected from long range for the first points of the fourth quarter at the 6:35 mark as Western New England increased its edge to seven. The Nor'easters got as close as four (61-57) after MacDonald sank two free throws with 4:31 to play, but O'Neill nailed a trey to push Western New England's cushion back to seven (64-57) with just under three minutes remaining. The Golden Bears withstood a late trey from UNE freshman Elyssa Nicholas (Southborough, Mass.), before sealing the key CCC victory at the free throw line.
The Nor'easters had led by as much as 12 (29-17) early in the second quarter after posting a 6-0 run to start the frame. Still trailing by nine (37-26) with 2:21 remaining in the half, Western New England was able to seize the momentum heading into the locker room as O'Neill made a layup with a minute to play and Gilhool banked in a half court heave at the buzzer.
• UNE's loss marks its first conference defeat of the season and first setback at home during the 2017-18 campaign. The Nor'easters only two other losses this winter came at the hands of No. 4 Bowdoin and No. 8 Tufts.
• Western New England shot 40 percent (22-of-55) from the field, including 50 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the arc. The Golden Bears limited the Nor'easters to 36.2 percent (25-of-69) shooting overall, and just 20 percent (5-of-25) from long range.
• O'Neill is averaging 21.4 points per game over Western New England's last five contests.
Western New England (9-5, 5-2 CCC) opens a three-game week on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at home against Wentworth, while UNE (10-3, 6-1 CCC) travels to Curry with tipoff slated for 5:30 p.m.