DANBURY, CT - Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, NY) and Kaitlyn LaBonte (South Windsor, CT) each scored 14 points, but the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball fell to visiting University of Southern Maine, 86-67 in the Little East Conference opene for both teams on Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena.
The Huskies, now 1-6 overall and 1-0 in league play, were able to break the Colonials' full-court press all afternoon and scored 70 of its 86 points inside the painted lane. They shot a blistering 60% (39-of-65) from the field on Saturday.
Freshman Kristen Curley (Gorham, ME) came off the Southern Maine bench to score a game-high 29 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the field. Fourth other Huskies scored in double figures including Chantel Eells' (Turner, ME) 18 points. Miranda Nicely (Farmington, ME) added 11 points while Kimberly Howringan (Fairfield, VT) and Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec) contributed 10 points apiece for the winners.
Howrigan led all players with 10 rebounds in the win.
WestConn, now 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the LEC, came into Saturday's contest averaging nearly 120 points a game, were held to 27% (24-for-88) shooting from the field. Sherwood, who was leading the nation in scoring in all divisions, missed 13 of 18 attempts including going 4-of-14 from her comfort area beyond the three-point arch.
USM led from the get-go and built a 19-point advantage to close out the first period. A layup from Srolovitz put the Huskies up, 32-13 after 10 minutes of play.
Before intermission, the visitors held their biggest lead, 45-16, when Eells hit a bank shot in the lane with 2:36 remaining in the first half.
The Colonials, which snapped a three-game win streak, drew within 13 points on three different occasions in the second half. A long three pointer from Sherwood with 8:17 left in the game was the time WestConn was within a baker's dozen.
"Southern Maine came out with a lot of energy and we did not match our opponent's intensity today," said WestConn head coach Kimberley Rybczyk. "There are going to be games when our shooting is off, but the way we play, that should not be a factor, if our defense plays well. Today our defense did not make the stops we need to be successful."
WestConn plays host to Mitchell College this Wednesday, December 6. Tip-off is slated for 6 pm at the O'Neill Center. The Colonials defeated the Mariners, 128-77 in the consolation game of the Brandeis University Tip-Off Tournament back on November 18. The Huskies travel to Salem State University on Tuesday, December 5 for a 7 pm meeting with the Vikings.