January 26, 2012



Worcester, Mass.-Rhode Island College junior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) had 12 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, an assist and a block as the Anchorwomen won for the 13th straight game in a 72-63 victory over Worcester State on Thursday night.


Senior guard Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, RI) recorded 16 points, six steals and two assists, while classmate forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI) contributed 13 points, four boards, three assists and three steals. Senior guard Stephanie Coro (North Providence, RI) rounded out the team leaders with an 11-point effort.



 Junior forward Courtney Burns


 "I was proud of the way we defended and battled back after digging a big hole for ourselves early in the game," RIC Head Coach Marcus Reilly said. "We had great defensive intensity throughout the second half and made some big shots down the stretch. We can't be in the habit of digging those holes moving forward."


Worcester State (8-11) was white hot from the field in the first half, shooting 61 percent (17-for-28). The Anchorwomen (16-2) only shot 38 percent (13-for-35) and trailed by nine, 42-33, at the break. The Lancers opened with a 27-8 lead at the 9:06 mark, but RIC trimmed its deficit to nine, mostly due to four three-pointers.


With RIC trailing by 11, 46-35, with 17:40 remaining in the game, the Anchorwomen went on a 16-4 run to take a one-point, 51-50, lead on a senior guard Nicole Girard (Foster, RI) three-pointer with just over 10 minutes left to play.


Two free throws by Burns gave the Anchorwomen a 56-54 lead at 7:19 and Coro nailed a three at 6:32 to give the visitors some breathing room. RIC went on a 13-2 run to make it a 69-56 advantage with 2:41 remaining as Riley capped the outburst with a bucket and foul shot.


Worcester State cut its deficit to six points, 69-63, with a 7-0 run ending with exactly a minute left, but the Anchorwomen closed out the game with free throws from Gaudet and Girard.


 Junior Meaghan O’Keefe (Warren, MA) propelled the Blue and Gold as she notched her second double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-best 13 boards. Sophomore Meaghan Burns (W. Brookfield, MA) and freshman Shannen El-Qasem (Rutland, MA) both recorded equal sums of 14 points and seven caroms apiece. Senior Kaleigh Charette (Fairhaven, MA) also chipped in with a team-best 16 points as she finished with a contest-high four assists.




Surprisingly, the Lancers dominated RIC on the glass, 42-23, in the game. RIC finished shooting 40 percent (26-for-65) from the field and 39 percent (9-for-23) from downtown. WSU finished with a 51-percent (23-for-45) effort from the field.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will resume Little East Conference play at home against Eastern Connecticut on Saturday, Jan. 28 (1 p.m.).