January 22, 2011



Willimantic, CT-Junior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI) equaled her career-high with 16 rebounds, while scoring a game-high 22 points, but Rhode Island College lost a close Little East Conference women’s basketball game, 56-50, at Eastern Connecticut’s Geissler Gymnasium.


The Warriors (12-4, 6-1 LEC) sweep the season series from the Anchorwomen and are locked in a three-way tie atop the league standings along with Southern Maine and Western Connecticut. RIC (12-5, 3-4 LEC) is currently in sole possession of fourth place.


Six weeks ago, Eastern had beaten Rhode Island by 24 points on the road, despite turning the ball over 22 times. This time, the Warriors gave it away a season-low nine times, and sank 10-of-12 free throws to offset 32.8 shooting (2-of-18 from “three”) from the floor.



 Junior forward Rachel Riley


Although Eastern never trailed by more than four points, the game featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes before the hosts fashioned a modest six-point run which subdued the visitors, who have lost three of their last five after starting the season at 10-2. The final six-point margin matched Eastern’s  largest lead of the game.


With the score tied at 44-all with four minutes left, Eastern sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford, CT) scored an inside basket, then grabbed a rebound of a RIC miss to help set up junior forward Piper Chapman’s (Portsmouth, RI) inside bucket that made it 48-44. Chapman then rebounded another RIC miss and scored on a jumper on the other end of the floor to make it 50-44 with 2:39 left. Following an exchange of points, senior guard Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville, CT) all but sealed the verdict with a pair of free throws that made it 54-49 with 28 seconds left. Pierlioni delivered the decisive points after she was fouled while rebounding a teammate’s missed three-point that prevented it from becoming a one possession game.


Behind nine rebounds each from Chapman, Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks, CT)  and Pierlioni, the LEC leader in rebounding margin (+14.3) outrebounded RIC by 11. Coming off a season-high 21-point effort in Tuesday’s win at Keene State, Pierlioni led Eastern with 15 points and Chapman had 14 on 7-of-10 field goal shooting.


Carter contributed 12 points, six rebounds and three assists  and Whiteley 10 points to complement her career-high rebounding total. Eastern’s starting five totaled only six turnovers in an average of 32.2 minutes.


In addition to Riley’s efforts, junior guard Stephanie Coro (North Providence, RI) netted 13 points. The pair combined for all but 15 of their team’s points.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to UMass Dartmouth for a Little East Conference matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 25.