BEVERLY, Mass. — The University of New England closed the final 4:09 with a 10-1 run to secure a 57-48 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women’s basketball victory over Endicott College on Tuesday night (Dec. 5) at MacDonald Gymnasium.
Winners of four in-a-row, the Nor’easters (7-1) now stand alone atop the league standings at 3-0.
After four lead-changes early in the 4th quarter, Endicott’s Gabriella Coppola tied the game for a seventh time (47-47) with a three-pointer at the 4:24 mark. But that was the last field goal the hosts could manage against the UNE defense. The Gulls came up empty on their last eight tries, and could only connect with 4-of-16 accuracy during the ultimate session.
Meanwhile, the Nor’easters went 7-for-9 shooting the ball over the same span and accounted for more than 1/3 of their offensive production (21 points), which included six scoring possessions in seven trips at the finish.
Sam MacDonald (Lebanon, N.H.) led the UNE effort with 14 points. Ashley Coneys (Dover, N.H.) had eight down the stretch, and registered 12 points with seven rebounds in the contest. Olivia Shaw (Saco, Maine) posted a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 10 boards, helping the visitors record a 47-30 advantage in the rebounding department. Kristie McNall (Wakefield, Mass.) tossed in eight points — all in the 3rd frame.
For Endicott (4-2, 2-1 CCC), Coppola paced all scorers with 19 points and six assists. Emily Pratt notched each of her 12 points following halftime, and Sam Charette added seven points with six rebounds.
Like the finish, the start was equally commanding for the Nor’easters. UNE constructed an 8-0 cushion while holding the Gulls scoreless until the 2:09 mark of the 1st, through eight missed shots, two empty free throws, and six turnovers. However, the lead was sliced to 11-7 by the conclusion of the opening stanza, once Coppola banked-in a 60-foot heave at the buzzer.
Things got closer in the 2nd (UNE 18-17 at halftime), and, sparked by six from Coppola, Endicott grabbed its largest edge (25-20) in the initial stages of the 3rd quarter. The Nor’easters needed a last-second hoop from MacDonald to level the match at 36-all heading into the deciding period.
UNE will look to take its positive momentum into Saturday’s date at No.1 Tufts University.