December 10, 2011



Willimantic, Conn.-Senior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI) scored 25 points to bring her career total to 999 as the Rhode Island College women's basketball team closed out the fall semester with a 78-52 win over Eastern Connecticut in Little East Conference action played at Geissler Gymnasium.


The Anchorwomen (6-2, 2-0 LEC) scored the game's final 18 points without missing a shot to stay unbeaten in league play.



 Senior forward Rachel Riley


"Our defense was at its highest level of they year and we need to keep it there moving forward," RIC Head Coach Marcus Reilly said afterwards. "In addition, we took care of the ball and I'm always confident in our balanced scoring attack when that happens. This was a great win for our program heading into the exam break." 


The pre-season favorite to win its first LEC championship, Rhode Island College started quickly by canning nine of its first 10 shots from the floor (60 percent in the half) for an 18 point lead six minutes into action, and ended with a surge by connecting on its final four shots from the field and its final 10 free throws after the Warriors had crept to within eight, 60-62, with 6:30 left.


After the Warriors (4-4, 1-1 LEC) chipped away from a 21-point deficit to pull to within eight, Riley stole the ball and scored inside, then grabbed a defensive rebound and scored again in the paint to ignite the game-ending 18-point run. Moments later, Riley blocked a shot, grabbed the rebound and converted against on the offensive end to push the lead to 16, 68-52, with 3:40 left.


Senior guard Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, RI) scored eight points in that final RIC run with a field goal and six free throw. Riley set up Gaudetís bucket in that spurt with an offensive rebound.


Gaudet and Riley combined for 51 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and six assists. Gaudet had 26 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals. She nailed three three-pointers and was 11-for-14 from the foul line. Riley pulled to within a point of 1,000 in her career with 25 points and 11 rebounds (ten in the second half). She was 10-for-16 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the stripe without a turnover in 37 minutes.


Eastern shot 28 percent from the floor with 14 turnovers in digging a 20-point halftime hole and eventually lost to RIC for only the third time in the last 10 meetings. In the game, Rhode Island scored 34 points off Easternís  21 turnovers, outscoring the hosts 23-6 in that department in building its 20-point halftime lead. Each teamís starters combined for all but four points (two for each team) in the contest.


Facing a 19-point deficit seven minutes into the second half, Eastern erased 11 points in a span of four minutes with an 11-0 run.  Junior guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) scored twice with a jumper and inside basket and  junior post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) dropped in two inside buckets and freshman guard Kristina Forsman (Newington) connected on a three-pointer. 


Kelleher was Easternís only double-digit scorer with 14 points, with Forsman, Blodgett, senior Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) and freshman  Taylor McBride (Willimantic) all finishing with nine. Chapman shared game-high honors with 11 rebounds.


RIC is off for finals and Christmas Break. In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play at Stevens Institute on Wednesday, Jan. 4 (6 p.m.).