November 19, 2011



Last Second Free Throw for UNE Sinks Anchorwomen

Biddeford, Maine-Despite overcoming a 23-point deficit to tie the game in the second half, the Rhode Island College women’s basketball team fell in their season opener as the University of New England topped the Anchorwomen, 63-62, on Saturday thanks to a last second free throws.


Senior guard Kari Pelletier (South Paris, ME) hit a layup with 14:11 remaining in the second half to put UNE (2-0) up by 23, their largest lead of the game. However, RIC (0-1) outscored the Nor’easters, 39-17, through the final 14 minutes of action. The Anchorwomen pulled within one with 31 seconds left to play, thanks to a basket from sophomore guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, RI). After a free-throw from Pelletier put UNE on top by two, 62-60, RIC tied the game with 11 seconds remaining in regulation after a layup from senior guard Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, RI) made it, 62-62.



 Senior guard Cynthia Gaudet


However, the University of New England responded in the final seconds as the Nor’easters drove the length of the floor and drew the foul, sending junior forward Beth Suggs (Bath, ME) to the charity stripe, where she knocked down the second of two attempts and gave UNE a 63-62 lead with 1.6 seconds remaining.  Gaudet’s last-ditch effort would not go down as the hosts escaped with the victory.


The Anchorwomen were led offensively by senior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI), as she finished with 17 points and four rebounds, and was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Gaudet was solid as well for RIC, as she tallied 11 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals.


Junior guard Ashley O’Dell (Lincoln, RI) totaled 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, while junior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) notched eight points and four rebounds. Senior guard Nicole Girard (Foster, RI) added five points and five assists in the loss.



 Senior forward Rachel Riley


 "We let poor shooting negatively affect our defense and execution early on and we have to handle that much better, specifically our defense should be fueling our offense in that situation," RIC Had Coach Marcus Reilly said afterwards. "We were able to play at the level we are capable of later in the game and tried to steal the win, but that is a tough situation to pull off against a very good team like UNE."


Pelletier led the Nor’easters with 17 points to go along with five assists and five steals. Junior guard Liz LeBlanc (Jay, ME) tallied 12 points, while Suggs totaled 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Senior guard Kelley Paradis (Newport, ME) chipped in with 11 points, four blocks, four rebounds, and three assists.


Despite coming away with the loss, the Anchorwomen won the turnover battle, 27-18, and had 16 steals as a team. However, RIC shot just 36 percent from the floor and converted just 3-for-24 from beyond the arc.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Bridgewater State on Tuesday, Nov. 22  (7:30 p.m.).