|Eastern Connecticut State University||University of Southern Maine|
GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School) scored a career-high 19 points to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 66-59 win over the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors in a Little East Conference women’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at Fifield Court.
With the win, Southern Maine stops a three-game skid to improve to 2-5 overall and starts its Little East Conference schedule at 1-0. Eastern Connecticut, the two-time defending Little East Conference Champion, falls to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Southern Maine leads the 82-game series between the two schools 65-17, but the Warriors had won three of the last four meetings, splitting their 2015-16 series, until today.
Srolovitz was one-of-two Huskies to score in double-digits, shooting an outstanding 7-for-11 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range. Freshman Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) added 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots, while junior Emily Nicholson (Quispamisis, New Brunswick/Kennebecasis) and freshman Mychaela Harton (Georgia, Vt./Essex) each had nine points. Freshman Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) added seven points, five rebounds and four assists.
Senior Jordyn Nappi (Southington, Conn./Mercy) had a team-high 16 points, adding five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore Kelsey Santagata (Stamford, Conn.) had a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double to help the Warriors to a 44-35 advantage in rebounds, including a 21-10 lead in offensive rebounds. Senior Julia DePoi (Brookfield, Conn.) and Lexis Foster (Groton, Conn./R.E. Fitch Senior) each had eight points. Foster added nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
USM used a big first quarter led by seven points from Srolovitz, outscoring ECSU 23-13, to head into the halftime break up 36-29. The Huskies opened the second half with a basket from junior Miranda Nicely (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) to lead 38-29 before the Warriors used a 7-1 run over the next three minutes to cut the lead to 39-36 with 6:41 to play in the third.
The Warriors got five straight points in the run from Nappi. The Huskies responded with a Harton three, and a jumper from Nicholson to sandwich a jumper from Santagata to again lead by seven, 45-38 with 4:35 left in the quarter before the Warriors closed with a 12-4 run over the final minutes to take a narrow 50-49 lead headed into the final frame.
Trailing for the first time since the opening basket, USM got big back-to-back baskets from Srolovitz and Luckhardt to reestablish its lead 54-50. Srolovitz canned a three to open the quarter on a feed from Luckhardt, before Luckhardt drained a mid-range jumper. Two plays later ECSU pulled to within one on a tough basket in the paint from Foster on a feed from Nappi, 54-53, but USM outscored the Warriors 8-2 over the next five minutes to lead 62-55 with 2:27 to play.
USM received a basket and two free throws from Srolovitz, two free throws from Eells and a steal, and a jumper from Luckhardt in the run.
Over the next two possessions each team exchanges free throws, including another two from Eells to keep Southern Maine in front 64-57 with 1:09 to play. USM extended its lead to nine, 66-57, on a layup from Nicholson with 50 seconds to play, before Nappi scored a driving layup in the paint for the final points of the game. Nappi was awarded the and-one on the play but missed.