Golden Bears Outlast Gordon in Overtime for Chaszar’s 200th Career Victory

Western New England's 69-63 victory over Gordon on Thursday night marked the 200th of head coach Nicole Chaszar's career. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Western New England's 69-63 victory over Gordon on Thursday night marked the 200th of head coach Nicole Chaszar's career. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Orbann nets career-high 19 points, O'Neill adds 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 18, 2018) –
The Western New England University women's basketball team outlasted Gordon College in overtime, 69-63, for head coach Nicole Chaszar's 200th career victory on Thursday evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center. 

Top Performers
• Sophomore forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) led the Golden Bears with a career-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-6 from the free throw line to go with six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
• Senior guard Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored a team-high 22 points with the help of an 8-for-8 effort at the free throw line, while also recording one rebound, one assist and one steal.
• Sophomore forward Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) contributed 11 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist.

• Gordon sophomore guard Meghan Foley (Malden, Mass.) carried the Fighting Scots offensively with a game-high 23 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds, two assists and one steal.
• Sophomore forward Sarah Gibbs (Elizabethtown, Pa.) was also a key contributor for Gordon with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, eight rebounds and three assists.

Game Review
After letting a six-point lead slip away over the final three and a half minutes of regulation, the Golden Bears took a 57-55 lead on a jumper by Carlson 52 seconds into overtime. Western New England never trailed in the extra frame, and went ahead for good (59-57) when Orbann made two free throws with 2:57 on the clock. O'Neill drained a clutch three-pointer to make it a four-point game (63-59) with 1:27 to play, before sealing the triumph with four free throws over the final 13 seconds.

Trailing by seven at halftime, the Fighting Scots began to chip away at their deficit in the third quarter. Gordon pulled to within three (40-37) on a layup by Foley at the 3:51 mark, and less than a minute later junior Jess Ryan (Milford, N.H.) sank two free throws to close the gap to one. O'Neill connected on a pair of jumpers late in the quarter, however, as Western New England stretched its lead back to five (44-39) heading into the fourth.

Facing a six-point deficit (53-47) with 3:42 remaining in regulation, Gordon posted an 8-2 run and tied the contest at 55-55 on a Gibbs layup with 37 seconds on the clock. Two potential go-ahead shots by Western New England over the final 11 seconds were off the mark, sending the game to overtime.

Gordon was in control early, as the visitors raced out to a 9-3 lead over the first 4:14 of the contest. The Fighting Scots led by the same margin (17-11) after a layup by Gibbs in the opening minute of the second quarter, and they did not relinquish their advantage until junior Meghan Gilhool (Montrose, Pa.) made a pair of free throws to tie the score at 22-22 with just under four minutes remaining in the half.

Western New England pulled ahead for the first time (24-22) on a layup by Carlson at the 3:34 mark, sparking a 13-6 run to close out the half as the Golden Bears claimed a 35-28 lead at the break. O'Neill fueled the Western New England offense during the run with six points, including four at the charity stripe.

Notes
• With a career record of 200-141 (.587), Chaszar is the program's all-time leader in both games coached and victories.
• The Golden Bears have won four consecutive contests, matching their longest winning streak of the season.
• Gilhool led Western New England with seven rebounds, while Carlson, Orbann and sophomore guard Sydney Fisher (Strafford, N.H.) grabbed six boards each.
• The Golden Bears scored 25 points off 18 Gordon turnovers.

Up Next
Western New England (11-5, 7-2 CCC) remains at home to host Eastern Nazarene on Saturday, while Gordon (5-11, 3-6 CCC) travels to Curry.