February 22, 2013



Gorham, Maine- Senior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA) scored 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists as fifth-seeded Rhode Island College lost to top-seeded Southern Maine, 73-62, in semifinal action of the 2013 Little East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament played at Hill Gymnasium on Friday evening.


Senior guard Ashley O’Dell (Lincoln, RI) also contributed 11 points, three assists and two steals for the Anchorwomen (16-11). Freshman forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, RI) had nine points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Danielle LeBlanc (Warwick, RI) pitched in with eight points and four assists.


The first half was a back-and-forth affair with each team making a substantial run. Senior guard Nicole Garland (Portland, ME) drained a pair of three-pointers to push the Huskies lead to seven, 12-5. She set the Southern Maine standard with her three-pointer from the right wing with 12:35 remaining in the half.


Following a timeout, Rhode Island College began to assert itself on the offensive end by scoring nine of the next 11 points to forge a 14-all tie. Burns knocked down a pair of jumpers, while Andrade completed the run with a traditional 3-point play.    



 Senior forward Courtney Burns


Senior forward Haley Jordan (Falmouth, ME) scored nine of the next 13 points to give the Huskies an advantage that they would not relinquish.  Sophomore guard Stephanie Gallagher (York, ME) sandwiched a pair of lay ups between a Jordan make to give Southern Maine a 31-21 lead heading into the locker room.


The Huskies opened the second half with a pair of buckets to stretch their advantage to a game-high 14 points, but Rhode Island College countered with a 12-2 run to trim its deficit to 37-33. Burns sparked the surge with four points, while LeBlanc capped the run with back-to-back three-pointers.


A Garland triple appeared to stem the tide for the Huskies, but the Anchorwomen continued to apply the offensive pressure with a 12-6 run to whittle their deficit to one point, 50-49.  Burns once again fueled the run with a lay up and a traditional three-point play, while O'Dell finished the surge with a three-pointer.


Unfazed by the charging visitors, Southern Maine responded with a 10-0 run to break open the contest.  Garland sandwiched a pair of triples between a pair of Jordan foul shots to balloon the Huskies’ lead to 11, 58-49, with eight minutes to go.  Jordan completed the decisive run with a jumper in the paint.


The Huskies converted on 11 out of 12 free throws down to stretch to maintain their double-digit advantage. McNamara connected on five of six attempts, while Jordan sank a pair with just 37 seconds remaining to book Southern Maine’s 27th appearance in the Little East championship game.  


Southern Maine (26-1), ranked No. 9 in the nation, advances to face third-seeded UMass Dartmouth in the Championship Game tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. Jordan led the way with a game-high 21 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Garland posted 19 points, four boards, three assists and two steals. Sophomore forward Rebecca Knight (Alfred, ME) registered 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.


RIC shot 40 percent (22-for-55) from the field, 28 percent (7-for-25) from downtown and made all 11 of its free throw attempts. The Huskies shot 47 percent (23-for-49) from the field, 46 percent (6-for-13) from three-point range and made 88 percent (21-for-24) from the charity stripe. The hosts held the advantage in rebounding, 31-27.