GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) had game-high totals of 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to an 80-68 win over the Western Connecticut State University Colonials in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Monday afternoon.
With the win, Southern Maine improves to 11-5 overall and 7-2 in the Little East Conference. The Huskies are presently second in the LEC with its conference record. Western Connecticut dips to 7-10 overall and 2-7 in conference action.
Curley was one of five Huskies in double-figures scoring as USM's 80 points was a season-best. The 5-10 guard's career-high 10 rebounds also earned Curley her first collegiate double-double. Senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) and junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) each scored 15 points, while freshman Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla./Lewiston) added 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Junior Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Srolovitz was outstanding offensively, shooting 7-of-8 from the field, while Luckhardt filled the stat-sheet with nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Four Colonials reached double-digits in scoring led by 12 points each from Asiah Knight and Hanna Maghini. Genesis Torres and Gabrielle Hurlbert each had 10 points, while Tashai Price had eight points and a team-high five rebounds.
Trailing by seven, 11-4, early in the first quarter (6:28 left) after the Colonials started the game hot shooting 4-of-6, including 2-for-3 from three point range, Southern Maine outscored WestConn 17-2 over the next five and a half minutes to lead 21-13 with a minute to go. Four different Huskies scored in the run, which was led by a Curley three-point play and capped by a jumper from Luckhardt. Curley had seven of the Huskies 17 points in the run, while Eells and Luckhard each had four. WestConn scored the final two points of the quarter to trail 21-15.
The Huskies picked up where they left off for the second quarter and outscored WestConn 26-11 in the frame. The Huskies shot 57.9 percent (11-for-19) from the field in the second and held the Colonials to just four field goals. Curley had six points in the quarter and Luckhardt had five and USM led 47-26 at the break.
WestConn's Samantha Garcia scored the first bucket of the third, cutting the WestConn deficit to 47-28; however, USM scored the next seven points unanswered to take its biggest lead of the game, 54-28, with 7:48 left. Luckhardt hit two free throws to start the run and was followed by a layup from Eells, before junior Kristina Blais (Lewiston, Maine) sank a three. Despite the early run and large deficit the Colonials fought back in the quarter and finished the frame outscoring USM 22-14. Down by 23, 56-33 with 3:26 to play, WestConn closed out the quarter on a 15-5 run. Torres scored six of the Colonials points in the run, while Jancy Sherwood hit a last second, long distance three to bring her team to within 13, 61-48, heading into the fourth.
Srolovitz took over in the fourth, scoring nine of her 15, including all seven of the Huskies' points in a quarter-opening 7-2 run to put the Huskies up 68-50 with 7:19 on the clock. After back-to-back mid-range jumpers, Srolovitz connected for a traditional three-play with a driving layup. From there, WestConn didn't get closer than 16 points, and USM led 80-64 with 1:13 to play before the Colonials closed with four points in the final minutes, including a three from Maghini.
Southern Maine is back in action on Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) and hosts UMass Dartmouth in a Little East Conference game.