January 26, 2013



Willimantic, Conn.-Junior forward Cara Paladino (Arlington, MA) led the Rhode Island College women’s basketball team with 15 points, nine rebounds, and six blocks as the Anchorwomen fell to Eastern Connecticut, 55-53, at Geissler Gymnasium in Little East Conference action on Saturday afternoon.


The two teams exchanged leads throughout the first half with Eastern Connecticut (7-12, 5-4 LEC) taking a 26-24 advantage over Rhode Island College (12-7, 5-4 LEC) into the break. Following the intermission, the Anchorwomen opened the second half on a 14-4 run to jump ahead by eight, capped off by a basket in the paint from freshman forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, RI) that made it, 38-30, at the 14:28 mark. 


However, the Warriors responded with an 18-10 run of their own to chip away at the deficit and eventually tied the game at 48 with 5:26 left to play on a free throw from freshman guard Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA).



 Junior forward Cara Paladino


After the Anchorwomen regained the lead on a three-point play from senior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) with 5:12 on the clock, Eastern Connecticut bounced back to knot the score at 51 following a pair of free throws from freshman forward Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) with 3:36 remaining in the game.


Following a turnover on the offensive end for RIC, the Warriors took a two-point lead on a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Kristina Forsman (Newington, CT) and quickly jumped ahead by four after Ritrosky connected on a layup with 2:42 left to play.


After the two teams exchanged turnovers, the Anchorwomen managed to cut the deficit to two after junior guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, RI) sank a layup and made it 55-53 with 1:05 on the clock. Yet, Rhode Island College couldn’t muster a basket in the final minute of action, as the Warriors sealed the victory by locking down on defense and keeping the Anchorwomen off the scoreboard.  


Forsman led Eastern with 17 points and three assists, while Ritrosky posted 13 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield, CT) added nine points and 10 rebounds in the win.


Burns registered a team-high 16 points for RIC to go along with five rebounds. Andrade finished with seven points, six rebounds and a pair of steals, while freshman guard Danielle LeBlanc (Warwick, RI) chipped in with six points and four assists. Senior forward Alexia Vega (North Providence, RI) added four points and seven rebounds off the bench.


RIC shot 39 percent (22-for-56) from the field, 22 percent from downtown (2-for-9) and 64 percent (7-for-11) from the free throw line. Eastern Connecticut shot 46 percent (20-for-44) from the floor, 57 percent (4-for-7) from beyond the arc and 55 percent (11-for-20) from the charity stripe.


Rhode Island College continued to crash the boards with authority, outrebounding the Warriors, 38-26, and corralling 15 offensive rebounds as a team.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Tufts on Tuesday, Jan. 29 (7 p.m.).