February 25, 2014



Providence, R.I.-Sophomore forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, RI) racked up 24 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and four steals as top-seeded Rhode Island College knocked off eighth-seeded Plymouth State, 56-45, in the first round of the 2014 Little East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament played at The Murray Center on Tuesday night.


With the win, the Anchorwomen (18-8) advance to face fourth-seeded Western Connecticut in the semifinals, which will be held at Rhode Island College on Friday night (5:30 p.m.). It marks the second time in the last three years that RIC has hosted the LEC Championship. In the other semifinal matchup on Friday, second-seeded Southern Maine will battle third-seeded Eastern Connecticut (7:30 p.m.).


Meanwhile, despite a hard-fought effort against the Anchorwomen, Plymouth State (2-22) sees its season come to an end with the loss.




Senior forward Cara Paladino (Arlington, MA) finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Anchorwomen, who shot 46 percent (21-for-46) from the floor in the victory. Sophomore guard Michelle Lagrotteria (Niantic, CT) handed out a game-high six assists to go along with four points and two rebounds, while freshman guard Alex Moore (West Newbury, MA) chipped in with seven points, three assists and two boards.


Senior guard Krystin Corliss (Barnstead, NH) led Panthers with 13 points and two rebounds, while freshman guard DeAsia Lawrence (Middletown, CT) added 12 points and two boards. Sophomore forward Bry Bennett (Lancaster, NH) posted seven points and seven rebounds to go along with three blocks and two assists, while senior forward Kait Deering (Sidney, ME) finished with four points and six rebounds.


After the Anchorwomen wrestled an early lead away from PSU following a jumper from senior guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, RI) that made it, 6-4, with 16:24 left to play in the half, RIC proceeded to rattle off a 15-3 scoring run and took a 21-7 lead over the Panthers with 9:39 remaining in the frame. Although the visitors cut the deficit to single digits on several occasions through the latter stages of the stanza, the Anchorwomen eventually went into halftime on top, 38-25.



 Sophomore forward Vandell Andrade


In what proved to be a sloppy, low-scoring second half in which the two teams combined for 22 turnovers, Rhode Island College watched Plymouth State cut the deficit to just 10 with 14:05 on the clock thanks to a jumper from sophomore guard Taylor Perry (Simsbury, CT). However, RIC managed to fend off the Panthers with a 10-0 scoring run midway through the frame that gave the hosts a 50-30 lead with 9:38 left to play. PSU answered back with nine unanswered points to cut the margin to 11 at the 5:04 mark, but couldn’t trim the deficit to single digits in the final stages of the ballgame.


Rhode Island College chalked up a total of eight steals and seven blocks on Tuesday, as the hosts forced the Panthers into 20 turnovers. RIC did, however, commit 19 turnovers of its own, including 13 in the second half alone.


The Anchorwomen outrebounded the Panthers, 35-28, in the win and handed out 14 assists as a team, compared to just six assists for PSU.


RIC shot 81 percent (13-for-16) from the free throw line, but went just 1-for-9 (11 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.


On the other end, Plymouth State shot just 29 percent (14-for-49) from the field, but connected on 36 percent (5-for-14) of its three-pointers and 92 percent (12-for-13) of its free throws.