January 18, 2011



Providence, RI-Senior center Melissa Teel (Hamden, CT) posted game-highs of 28 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks, to go along with three assists and three steals, to lead the Western Connecticut State University women’s basketball team past Rhode Island College, 82-67, on Tuesday night at The Murray Center.


The Colonials (14-2, 6-0 LEC) remain the lone unbeaten team in LEC competition, while RIC (11-4, 3-3 LEC) remains in fourth place.


It was close first half as the Colonials held a 30-28 lead at the break. RIC junior guard Stephanie Coro (North Providence, RI) knocked down the game’s first bucket with a three-pointer and the advantage went back and forth for the first 10 minutes.



 Junior guard Stephanie Coro climbed within 10 points of 1,000 for
her career in Tuesday night's loss to the Colonials.


WestConn went on a 10-0 run in a two-minute time span to lead, 22-14, at 8:01. A three-pointer by Colonial junior guard Samantha Slonski (Griswold, CT) put the visitors up by eight points, 27-19, with 4:05 left. Coro scored six points as RIC countered with a 9-1 run to tie the game, 28-all. Senior guard Heather Lee (Seymour, CT) converted a layup with 24 seconds left to give the visitors a two-point lead.


WCSU shot 50 percent (12-for-24) from the field, 20 percent (2-for-10) from downtown and 80 percent (4-for-5) from the free throw line. RIC shot 30 percent (9-for-30) from the field, 43 percent (3-for-7) from three-point land and cashed in 7-of-8 (88 percent) from the charity stripe.


A jump shot by junior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI) 1:43 into the second half gave the hosts their only lead, 34-32, for the rest of the game. Rhode Island College kept within striking distance for much of the half, staying within one possession of tying the score.


However, Teel took over the game and sealed the victory for the Colonials over the final seven minutes, scoring 10 points on five consecutive possessions in a 2:03 time span. Senior guard Karli Spera (Waterford, CT) cashed in four free throws, while Slonski added three more over the final two minutes to assure WestConn the win.


For the game, WCSU shot 55 percent (29-for-53) from the field, 35 percent (7-for-20) from downtown and 81 percent (17-for-21) from the free throw line. The visitors held a 39-33 advantage in rebounding.


RIC shot 36 percent (25-for-70) from the field, 42 percent (5-for-12) from downtown and 80 percent (12-for-15) from the free throw line.


Western moved the ball precisely for much of the game, setting up its shooters for high percentage looks. Teel was the main beneficiary, nailing 13-of-18. Spera added 22 points, missed only once (10-for-11) from the free throw line and dished out a game-high seven assists. Slonski added 17 points on the strength of four trifectas.


Coro led RIC with 26 points, needing just 10 more to reach 1,000 for her career. Sophomore forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) continued her strong play of late with 12 points and nine rebounds, while playing the entire 40 minutes.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host Trinity on Thursday, Jan. 20.