DANBURY, Conn. – Five players scored in double figures, led by a game and career-high 29 points from freshman guard Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine), as the University of Southern Maine Huskies ran past the Western Connecticut State University Colonials 86-67 in a Little East Conference women’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena.
The win is the first of the season for the Huskies, who start Little East Conference action at 1-0, and are now 1-6 overall. The Huskies snapped Western Connecticut’s three-game win streak to drop the Colonials fall to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Breaking Western Connecticut’s full-court press for the full 40 minutes, Southern Maine scored 70 of its 86 points in the paint, shooting a season-best 60 percent (39-of-65) from the field. Curley scored her game and career-best 29 points off the bench, canning 14-of-22 from the floor (63.6 percent). Sophomore Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) had a career-best 18 points and six assists, adding nine rebounds shooting 8-for-11, while senior Miranda Nicely (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) tossed in 11 points. Juniors Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) and Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vt./Bellows Free Academy) each scored 10 points. Howrigan notched her first career double-double with a career-best 10 rebounds.
Kaitlyn LaBonte and Jancy Sherwood each scored 14 points for Western Connecticut. LaBonte and Sherwood each connected for four three-pointers. Frances Snyder added nine points off of the bench, while Asiah Knight and Tashai Price each grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Scoring the first basket of the game, the Huskies built up a 19-point lead in the first quarter outscoring WestConn 32-13 led by 12 points from Curley and 10 from Srolovitz. Southern Maine held its biggest lead of the game, 45-16, on a layup from Eells with 2:36 to play before the break.
Hitting from three-point territory, WestConn pulled to within 13 points of the Huskies three times in the second half. The Colonials outscored USM 30-21 in the third quarter and trailed 58-45 after a pair of free throws from Nicole Mierzejewski with 4:16 to go in the quarter. However, the Huskies were able to hold off the surging Colonials to lead 70-56 heading into the fourth quarter.
WestConn pulled to within 13 of USM for the final time with 8:17 to play in the fourth on a three from Sherwood for a 72-59 USM lead, but the Huskies outscored the Colonials 16-8 down the stretch for the win.
Southern Maine returns to action on the road at Salem State on Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) for a non-conference game. Western Connecticut hosts Mitchell College on Wednesday (6:00 p.m.) in an out-of-conference game.