DANBURY, CT – Junior guard Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, NY) tallied a team-high 14 points, while sophomores Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, CT) and Genesis Torres (Stratford, CT) added 13 and 10, respectively as the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 85-77 loss to visiting non-league foe Mt. Saint Mary on Saturday afternoon at The O'Neill Center's Feldman Arena. With the loss, the Colonials dropped to 4-4 overall, while the Knights improved to 6-4.
After a three-pointer from sophomore guard Jessica Davis (Hamden, CT), the hosts held an 11-point advantage with 9:00 remaining. However, the visitors would end up outscoring the Colonials in the final period, 26-10, en route to the comeback win.
For the game, the Colonials full court pressure resulted in 38 forced turnovers which included 16 steals. However, the Knights shot a scorching 36-for-60 (60%) from the field while finishing with a commanding edge in the rebound column, 56-34.
"We need to do a better job of knocking down shots and maintaining better energy down the stretch in our defensive pressure," stated WestConn head coach Kimberley Rybczyk following the tough loss.
Junior center Kayla Cleare (West Hempstead, NY) paced Mt. Saint Mary with game-highs of 24 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, while senior forward Jessica Rini (Seaford, NY) contributed with 22 points. Junior forward Elizabeth Limonta (Stewart Manor, NY) chipped in with a double-double of 11 points, while matching Cleare's 12-count off the glass.
It was a back-and-forth affair as the Knights jumped out to a 22-10 lead when Cleare notched an offensive putback midway through the opening stanza.
WestConn responded with a furious run. Sherwood connected on a trifecta, knotting the score at 35-35 before junior forward Tashai Price (Vernon, CT) hit a pair from the charity stripe, giving the Colonials their first lead of the contest, 37-35, with 5:21 left before the intermission. They stretched the lead to 53-40 when sophomore guard Kathiana Monestime (Somerville, MA) drained a runner to put WestConn ahead entering the third.
The Colonials would maintain the lead throughout the third before relinquishing the advantage in the fourth. Limonta tallied a layup to even the game at 73-73 with 6:22 to play. The Knights would pull ahead for good when sophomore guard Jordyn Hellpap (Hackensack, NJ) tickled the twine, setting the count at 79-77 with 1:56 remaining. The visitors continued to pound the paint the rest of the way, rounding the score out at 85-77.
WestConn will get right back to work when they meet visiting non-conference opponent SUNY Plattsburgh tomorrow at 3 p.m.