February 19, 2013



Willimantic, Conn.-Senior guard Ashley O’Dell (Lincoln, RI) scored a game-high 21 points as fifth-seeded Rhode Island College defeated fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut, 66-54, in first round action of the 2013 Little East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament on Tuesday evening.


The Anchorwomen (16-10) advance to play top-seed Southern Maine in the semifinals on Friday evening (5:30 p.m.). The Warriors (10-16) see their season come to an end in the loss.


O’Dell was nearly perfect from the field, making 7-of-8 from the floor and did not miss (5-for-5) from three-point land. Senior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists. Junior forward Cara Paladino (Arlington, MA) chipped in with 12 points, while freshman forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, RI) hauled down a team-high nine rebounds.



 Senior guard Ashley O'Dell


Eastern Connecticut freshman forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA) had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield, CT) posted a double-double of her own with 16 points and 14 boards. Freshman forward Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) contributed 10 points and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Taylor McBride (Willimantic, CT) posted 10 points, four rebounds and five assists.


The game was close for the first six minutes as the score was deadlocked, 8-8, at 13:45. The Anchorwomen rattled off eight straight over the next 1:36 to lead, 16-8, at 12:09. Two trifectas by O’Dell and a Burns’ jumper did the damage.


The Warriors saw their deficit increase to 19 points with 6:47 left to play as RIC junior guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, RI) canned a three. RIC’s advantage got as high as 20 points and the visitors went into halftime holding a commanding 41-25 lead.


The hosts got within 14 points, 45-31, on two McCourt free throws at 15:48, and later climbed within 12, 53-41, on a Leonard layup with 11:07 remaining. Five quick points by O’Dell, on a three and a layup, put the game out of reach, 58-41, and ECSU would get no closer than 11 points for the remainder of the contest.



 Senior forward Courtney Burns


RIC shot 43 percent (23-for-53) from the floor, 64 percent (7-for-11) from downtown and 72 percent (13-for-18) from the free throw line. ECSU shot 36 percent (21-for-59) from the field, went 0-for-1 from beyond the arc and 60 percent (12-for-20) from the charity stripe.


The Warriors outrebounded the Anchorwomen, 41-32. RIC had 12 turnovers, while the hosts made 13 miscues.