NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Kelsey Santagata went 8-for-11 from the field and scored a game-high 20 points as the no. 2 seed Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors shot a red-hot 61.7% from the field to defeat no. 3 seed University of Southern Maine Huskies 93-58 in the second semifinal game of the 2019 Little East Conference Women's Basketball Championship hosted by UMass Dartmouth at the Tripp Athletic Center.
With the win, Eastern Connecticut earns its fifth straight and improves to 18-8 overall. Southern Maine concludes its season with a record of 16-10. The Warriors advance to play top-seed UMass Dartmouth on Saturday for the 2019 Little East Conference championship and automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.
Eastern came out on fire in the first half shooting 64.0 percent (16-for-25) from the field to grab a commanding 44-21 lead at the break. Kelsey Santagata had 14 points in the opening half knocking down 5-of-6 from the field, while Anna Barry had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and snagged six rebounds. Conversely, Southern Maine struggled to put the ball in the next shooting in the low 20s for the first half. The Huskies fared better in the second half shooting 44.4 percent in the third and 53.8 percent in the fourth quarter but could not overcome the Warriors.
Santagata added six rebounds for the Warriors held a 44-28 advantage on the glass. Jenna Serrantino had 17 points and five rebounds, while Lizzy Cretella and Anna Barry each had 11 points while Barry added a team-high seven rebounds. Mya Villard rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Southern Maine senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) led the Huskies with 11 points, adding three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) had eight points, four rebounds and a pair of assists. Junior Katie Howe (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) and freshman Audrey Pohl (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) each had seven points. Junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) finished the game with five points, six rebounds and two assists.