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Fordham, La Salle and Richmond Pick Up Saturday Wins

Release: 11/30/2013
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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference
PHILADELPHIA - La Salle took control of a back-and-forth contest with a 10-0 run midway through the second half and held on to defeat Central Connecticut State 71-60 at Tom Gola Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Leeza Burdgess and Micahya Owens tied for game-high scoring honors with 15 points each. Burdgess drained 13 of her 15 in the second half, and added a game-high-tying nine rebounds.

Khristin Lee was the third Explorer in double figures, scoring 10 points while adding four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Jasmine Alston put together another solid outing, pulling down seven rebounds and dishing out a game-high six assists while chipping in five points and two steals.

CCSU's Kaley Watras led the visitors with 13 points, 10 of those coming in the first half. Kayla Miller was the other Blue Devil in double figures with 10 points along with a game-high-tying nine rebounds.

CCSU (3-3) jumped out to a 10-4 lead through the first six minutes thanks to eight of Watras' points. That was the most the Explorers would trail in the game, however, as Siobhan Beslow converted a traditional three-point play to spark a 10-0 run. Burdgess added a jumper in the paint, Alston drained a layup and Owens connected from downtown to cap the run and give the Explorers a 14-10 lead at the 11:02 mark.

The teams traded leads throughout the remainder of the first half as neither could pull far ahead thanks to a subpar shooting effort on both squads. Both teams shot less than 40 percent in the first half, the Blue Devils going 11-for-28 and the Explorers hitting 11-of-33 en route to a 29-29 halftime score.

The second half started in much the same fashion with five ties and four lead changes through the first 5:55 of the half. With CCSU up by two at 14:25, Burdgess made a shot from down low at 14:05 to spark the deciding 10-0 run and the Explorers never trailed after that. Rookie Deja Bullock added all four of her points in that stretch that spanned until CCSU's Watras broke the run with a three-pointers at 11:21.

The Explorers (2-3) could not quite put away the Blue Devils, with the visitors pulling within three on two Johnna Fisher free throws with 4:13 left, but that was the closest CCSU would get down the stretch. The Explorers converted five of their final six free throws to seal the game including two by Alicia Cropper with 24 seconds remaining for the final 71-60 score and the Explorers' biggest lead of the game.

After going just 33.3 percent in the first half, the Explorers lit up for a 51.9 percent showing from the field in the second half to finish with a 41.7 shooting percentage. Free throws, which the team has struggled with, were up this game with the squad nailing 18 of their 25 attempts.

CCSU shot just 32.8 percent for the game including only 27.8 percent in the second half.

The Explorers were dominant on the glass, outrebounding the Blue Devils 46-39 and had been outrebounding them 44-29 at one point in the second half. The Explorers also forced the Blue Devils into 17 turnovers to just 12 miscues for the Blue & Gold.

– Junior Keri Soppe led the Richmond women’s basketball team over the Longwood Lancers, 77-71, with a career-high 21 points Saturday afternoon at Willett Hall.

In addition to her career-high, Soppe grabbed four rebounds and came up with three steals on the day. Senior Kristina King followed with 16 points and three steals, while redshirt junior Genevieve Okoro scored 12 points. Freshman Olivia Healy led both teams with 11 rebounds.

The Spiders (3-4) jumped out early in the first half, leading by as many as 12 with 1:44 to go before the intermission. Richmond shot a blazing 61.5 percent (16-26) from the field and went 5-of-9 from behind the arc, thanks to four treys from Soppe in the first 20 minutes.

After leading 44-33 at the break, Richmond continued with the momentum and broke out to a 21-point advantage five minutes into the second half. But Longwood (3-3) kept the Spiders on their toes as it went on a 18-4 run with 1:43 remaining, but it was not enough to overcome the Spiders.

Richmond finished with a season-best 51.9 percent from the field and went 8-of-18 from behind the arc, while the Lancers shot 40 percent (20-50) and just 29.4 percent from three-point range.

The Spiders will conclude a four-game road swing when they travel to Liberty Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

A pair of Rams put up 20 points apiece on Saturday, as Fordham downed UNLV, 72-63, in the opening game of the Lady Rebel Round-Up.
Erin Rooney was one of those two players, shooting 8-12 from the field and grabbing seven boards to lead the Rams in their winning effort.  Rooney's performance marked her sixth straight game with at least 20 points. 
Hannah Missry also scored 20, hitting five of her nine attempts from downtown and leading the squad with three steals.
With the win, Fordham moves to 5-2 on the season and extends its winning streak to four games.  UNLV falls to 2-4 with the loss.
Abigail Corning also finished in double figures for the Rams, netting 11 points and distributing a game-high five assists. 
Emily Tapio had another solid game in the win, tallying seven points and a game-high eight rebounds.
After UNLV got on the board first, the Rams rattled off eight in a row, taking an early 8-2 lead just over two minutes into the game.  Missry and Samantha Clark hit from deep on the run, while Corning chipped in two.
UNLV worked its way back into the contest with an 11-3 streak following the Fordham run, tying the game at 13 with 12:47 left in the opening half. 
The Lady Rebels opened up a slight lead a few minutes later, pulling ahead 16-15 on a Rejane Verin free throw.  From there, the Rams went on fire, scoring 12 in a row to grab a 27-16 advantage at the five minute mark.
UNLV chipped away at the Fordham lead over the half's closing minutes and the Rams entered the locker room with a 31-23 advantage.
The Lady Rebels knocked the Fordham lead down to as little as four in the opening minutes of the second half, as an Alana Cesarz jumper made it 39-35 just over four minutes into the period.
The Rams then uncorked a 7-2 run, as a Rooney jumper pulled Fordham ahead by 12, 49-37, forcing a UNLV timeout with 12:36 remaining in the second half.
Fordham worked its lead to as high as 15 over the next few minutes, as Corning absorbed contact and made three the old fashioned way with just under eight minutes on the clock.
The Lady Rebels knocked the Rams lead back to single digits inside the four minute mark on a pair of free throws, but Missry nailed a three from the left corner to put Fordham back up by 11 with 2:45 to go.
UNLV kept fighting, chipping the Fordham win down to seven on a few occasions in the closing minutes, but the Rams held tough, coming out on top with a 72-63 win in the Cox Pavilion.

Rhode Island (1-6) battled the high-power Florida Atlantic offense tough, but could not keep pace in a 78-62 loss in the championship game of the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament Saturday.

The Rams outplayed FAU (6-2) in the opening half, taking a 39-36 edge into the break. Rhody used its size to establish an edge on the boards, outrebounding the Owls 25-16 in the opening 20 minutes. The URI defense also held the fast-paced FAU offense without a fast break point in the game.

FAU was able to wear Rhode Island down late, taking a 50-48 lead on an old-fashioned three-point play by Takia Brook with 14:32 to go. FAU never relinquished the lead from there.

BANGOR, Maine -
Massachusetts women's basketball closed competition at the Black Bear Thanksgiving Tournament with a 96-88 overtime loss to William & Mary at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine, on Saturday afternoon. Rashida Timbilla led four Minutewomen who scored in double-digits with a career-best 25 points to go with 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and the ninth of her career.

Jasmine Harris followed with 17 points on a 6-for-9 afternoon from the floor, including four made three-pointers, and a free throw. Kiara Bomben added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists while Emily Mital chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and five helpers.

With her points total, Timbilla became the first UMass women's basketball player to earn 25 points in a game since Jasmine Watson provided as many on March 4, 2011 against Charlotte. Timbilla, who was awarded all-tournament honors after the game, went 12-for-17 from the floor and added one made free throw in two chances.

Jazmen Boone paced William & Mary with 24 points, Kyla Kerstetter provided 18 points and Marlena Trembra added 15 to go with six assists. Kaitlyn Mathieu earned a double-double on 14 points and 10 rebounds.

In the extra period, the Tribe earned the win on the strength of its free throw shooting as they finished 10-of-10 in the frame on attempts from the charity stripe. Anna Kestler scored four consecutive points for William & Mary on a pair of free throws and a layup to give the Tribe an 86-82 lead with three minutes, 31 seconds to play in overtime, which they held the rest of the way. Overall, the Tribe finished 25-of-28 from the free throw line (89.3 percent) during the game.

– Desirae Ball scored a career-high 29 points and Jamesia Price tallied a career-best 18, but Western Illinois registered a come-from-behind, 87-85 overtime victory over Saint Louis Saturday at Western Hall.

Ball was 11-of-16 from the field, including a career-high five 3-pointers (5-of-8), and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. She added three steals, three rebounds and an assist.

Price connected on a career-best four treys and was 4-of-4 from the foul line. She also recorded seven assists and a game-high five steals, both career highs.

Erin Nelson tossed in 15 points and tied her career high with seven rebounds, including a career-high five offensive boards. Lexi Lopez tied for game-high honors with a career-best and team season-high 14 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, and added a career-high nine points.

The Billikens (2-5) buried a season-high 10 3-pointers (10-of-25) and were 15-of-17 from the stripe for a season-best 88.2 percent.

Ashley Luke led Western Illinois (4-4), which snapped a three-game losing skid, with 23 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and three blocks while also picking up four assists. Marley Hall scored 22 points; Michelle Maher had 15 points and a game-high eight assists; and Tori Niemann contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rebecca Henricson notched six assists.

There were five ties and three lead changes in overtime. A three-point play by Hall put Western Illinois in front for good, 83-82, with 1:15 remaining.

Three free throws made it a four-point Leatherneck margin before Price nailed a long 3-pointer with 16 ticks left to trim the lead to 86-85. Maher sank one of two free throws on the ensuing Western Illinois possession, and Price’s 3-point attempt for the win was deflected and recovered by WIU.

Ball’s steal and layup, a Ball triple and two Nelson free throws put Saint Louis on top 42-34 early in the second half. Western Illinois used a Maher trey and a Luke layup to pull to within three, 42-39.

The Leathernecks failed to score on their next five possessions, but the Billikens suffered six straight empty possessions themselves. Western took advantage, scoring on seven consecutive touches to take a 53-48 lead with 9:39 left.

The Billikens answered with a 20-7 flurry. Ball hit a baseline jumper, Lopez drove for a layup, and Ball connected from beyond the arc. Nelson converted a three-point play after gathering her own miss to tie it at 58, then gave SLU the lead with a layup.

Four Price free throws, a Ball jumper and Olivia Jakubicek’s drive down the lane put Saint Louis in command, 68-60, at the 2:55 mark.

However, Western Illinois scored on its final seven possessions of regulation in a 12-4 spurt that sent the game into the extra session tied at 72.

Western Illinois grabbed an 11-4 lead before Saint Louis began connecting from beyond the arc. Two Ball 3-pointers sandwiched a Price trey, allowing the Billikens to slice the Leathernecks’ advantage to 14-13.

Price’s long triple knotted the score at 16, and a Ball layup gave SLU its first lead, 18-16. After WIU regained the lead with a three-point possession, Price made it 20-19 SLU with a driving layup. She then answered Luke’s layup with a 3-pointer that put the Bills on top 23-21.

Western Illinois pulled even on Hall’s short jumper, but SLU responded with an 11-2 spurt. Denisha Womack triggered the run with a jumper, Lopez gathered a long rebound and drove the length of the floor for a layup, and Womack made a layup.

After Nelson canned a 3-pointer, Ball’s pull-up jumper at the foul line finished the run and gave the Billikens a 34-25 advantage. Western Illinois closed the gap to 35-30 at intermission.

The Billikens return to Chaifetz Arena Tuesday, Dec. 3, to host Tulsa at 4:30 p.m.


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