January 25, 2014



Providence, R.I.-Sophomore forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, RI) chalked up 18 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three blocks to help carry the Rhode Island College womenís basketball team to a 61-57 victory over Eastern Connecticut on Saturday afternoon at The Murray Center in Little East Conference action.


Winners in six straight games and nine in of its last 10 contests, Rhode Island College (12-5, 6-1 LEC) moves into sole possession of first place in the Little East Conference standings. Eastern Connecticut (12-5, 5-2 LEC) sees its two-game winning streak come to a close and falls into second place in standings with the loss.



 Sophomore forward Vandell Andrade


Senior forward Cara Paladino (Arlington, MA) registered 15 points, including 14 in the first half, to go along with four rebounds and three steals, while senior guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, RI) totaled 11 points and seven rebounds for the Anchorwomen.  Sophomore guard Michelle Lagrotteria (Niantic, CT) recorded seven points, four assists and two rebounds, while freshman guard Alex Moore (West Newbury, MA) finished with four points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.


Freshman guard Jordyn Nappi (Southington, CT) paced the Warriors with a game-high 22 points, four rebounds and two steals. Nappi and sophomore guard Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) played all 40 minutes in Saturdayís contest. Leonard chipped in with eight points, nine rebounds and two steals. Sophomore forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA) posted 11 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while sophomore forward Erin Brooks (Billerica, MA) came away with 10 points and five rebounds.


After the Warriors jumped out to an early, 7-2, lead over the hosts, RIC bounced back to take a 14-11 lead with 10:31 left in the half following a layup from sophomore guard Danielle LeBlanc (Warwick, RI) that capped off a 12-4 scoring run for the Anchorwomen.


Leonard connected on a layup to cut Easternís deficit to just one, 14-13, on the ensuing possession, but Rhode Island College quickly responded with a ferocious 10-0 run over the next few minutes to take a 24-13 lead over the Warriors with 6:25 on the clock. RIC held the visitors without a basket for over four minutes, until Nappi stopped the scoring drought with a mid-range jumper at the 6:05 mark. The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the frame, sending the Anchorwomen into the break on top by seven.


Although the Warriors shot 50 percent (11-for-22) from the floor in the first half, the Anchorwomen forced the visitors into nine first half turnovers en route to the, 32-25, halftime advantage. The Anchorwomen totaled 12 points off turnovers, garnered 10 fast-break points, and also went on to score 28 of their 32 first-half points in the paint.


 After Rhode Island College jumped ahead by double-digits and soon led by as many as 13 to open the second half, the Warriors managed to trim the deficit down to four with 11:31 remaining following back-to-back baskets from Ritrosky. Holding onto a 44-40 lead, RIC used an 11-4 run to take another double-digit lead over the visitors at the 7:31 mark, keyed by six consecutive points from Andrade. From there, the Anchorwomen led by at least seven points for the remainder of the game, until Nappi drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to four as time expired.


RIC forced a total of 17 turnovers on Saturday, while coughing it up just eight times on the other end. The Anchorwomen finished with 23 points off turnovers in the win.  


The Anchorwomen shot 41 percent (14-for-33) from the field on the afternoon, but managed to shoot just 62 percent from the free throw line (8-for-13) and 11 percent (1-for-9) from beyond the arc.  


The Warriors shot 52 percent (24-for-46) from the floor, but shot just 50 percent (7-for-14) from the charity stripe. Eastern went 2-for-4 (50 percent) from downtown in the loss.


Although the rebounding battle ended in a deadlock, 34-34, the Anchorwomen hauled in 14 offensive rebounds as a team and came away with 11 second-chance points.  


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College hosts UMass Dartmouth in Little East Conference play on Tuesday, Jan. 28th (5:30 p.m.).