February 24, 2009




Martin & McNamee Play in Final Collegiate Game


Gorham, MEóSophomore forward Kristi Violette (Readfield, ME) matched her career high and notched her ninth career double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, to lead the third-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies to 61-49 win over the sixth-seeded Rhode Island College Anchorwomen in the first round of the 2009 Little East Conference Womenís Basketball Tournament on Tuesday evening




Rhode Island College ends its season with a 10-16 record. It was the final game for seniors Tyla Martin (Cumberland, RI) and Michelle McNamee (Cranston, RI).






 Senior Guard Tyla Martin




The win gave the Huskies their 20th victory of the season extending their NCAA Division III record of 20 or more wins in a season to 29 consecutive years dating back to the 1980-1981 season and improves their overall record to 20-6. The Huskies advance to the semifinals of the LEC tournament that will be hosted by top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University. The Huskies will face second seeded Western Connecticut State on Friday at a time to be determined.




Violette led three USM players in double figures scoring, controlling the paint with a 7-for-14 effort from the field.  Senior guard Stacey Kent (Northwood, NH) strung together a solid all-around game with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore guard Kaylie DeMillo (Jay, ME) tossed in 10 points, including a pair of key three-pointers, while junior forward Haley Johnson (West Simsbury, CT) matched Violette for game-high rebounding honors with 10 to help the Huskies to an overpowering 44-25 advantage on the glass, which included 18 offensive rebounds.




Freshman guard Stephanie Coro (North Providence, RI) led RIC with 13 points.  Junior forward Ashley Abrahamson (Raynham, MA) added 11 points and seven rebounds and Martin chipped in with 10 points. McNamee finished with two points, two rebounds and a pair of assists.




The Huskies opened up double-digit leads in both halves of the game but were not able to put the Anchormen away as they continually clawed their way back into the game.  In the first half, the Huskies won the opening tip, scored the first basket of the game and never trailed and led by 11 points, 25-14 with 5:42 to play following a steal and a lay-up from junior guard Nicole Paradis (Skowhegan, ME). Paradis finished the game with six points, three assists and three steals.  RIC was able to trim the lead to five at the break limiting the Huskies to just one field goal, a layup by Violette, over the final 5:42 of the half.  RIC outscored USM 8-2 in the run as Martin scored four points on a pair of jumpers and Abrahamson and McNamee each chipped in with two points for a 27-22 USM lead at the break.






 Senior Guard Michelle McNamee




RIC and USM battled back and forth in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Anchorwomen were able to pull to within a basket of the Huskies, 41-39, with 9:02 remaining when Abrahamson converted a layup after a steal as part of a 7-0 run ignited by a long three-point basket and a jumper in the paint from Coro.




The Huskies answered with a vital three-pointer from freshman guard Nicole Garland (Portland, ME) and used a 11-3 run to regain a 10-point lead, 52-42, with 4:23 remaining. Kent, Garland and Johnson each scored three points in the run, while Paradis connected on a runner in the paint. Back-to-back baskets from junior guard LaSheena Boyd (Stratford, CT) cut the RIC deficit to eight points, but it was as close as her team would get the rest of the way as USMís DeMillo drained a three and the Huskies made 6-of-6 free throws down the stretch.