GORHAM, Maine – Junior Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vt./Bellows Free Academy) and sophomore Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) each posted double-doubles to lead a balanced offensive effort as four players scored in double-figures in a 54-40 win for the University of Southern Maine Huskies over the Rhode Island College Anchormen in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Wednesday night at Hill Gymnasium.
With the win, Southern Maine improves to 3-1 in Little East Conference action, and 6-8 overall. USM is 6-2 in its last eight games. Rhode Island College drops its second consecutive game to stand at 7-6 overall and 1-3 in the Little East Conference.
Howrigan was 5-for-9 from the field and scored 11 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds, while Eells had a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double to help USM to a 44-38 advantage on the boards. Senior Emily Nicholson (Quispamisis, New Brunswick/Kennebecasis Valley) and freshman Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) each had 12 points for the Huskies. Nicholson added six rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Curley had two blocked shots. Junior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) turned in a strong defensive performance, and had six points, four assists and three steals without a turnover in 38 minutes of action.
Senior Jessa Rubera (Newton, Mass./Newton South) led all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including a trio of three pointers. Sophomore Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, R.I./Olavo Moniz) had eight points, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
Making just four field goals in the opening quarter, USM trailed RIC 17-10 heading into the second. RIC's Livramento scored all eight of her points in the first 10 minutes of the game shooting 4-for-4 from the field. After a stagnant start and a lukewarm defensive effort in the first, USM clamped down the rest of the way limiting the Anchormen to eight, seven and eight points in the ensuing quarters while finding their way offensively.
Howrigan sparked the Huskies in the second quarter scoring six of her 11 points on 3-for-3 shooting, while Curley tossed in four points and sophomore Mychaela Harton (Georgia, Vt./Essex) hit a big three for her lone points of the game. Despite outscoring RIC 13-8 in the quarter, USM remained behind the Anchormen 25-23 headed into the halftime break.
Howrigan continued to spark the Huskies in the third, tying the game up on one of her five offensive rebounds in the game and the put-back. Nicholson gave USM the lead for good with 6:49 left in the third draining a three on a kick-out assist from Eells, and USM went on to lead RIC 35-32 in headed into the final frame.
RIC struck first in the fourth on a layup from Rubera to trim its deficit to 35-34, but USM responded with a 10-0 run to lead 45-34 with 5:06 to play. Eells was instrumental in the pivotal run, scoring six of her 10 points on strong moves in the paint. After the run, RIC pushed back canning back-to-back threes from freshman Brooke Young (West Warwick, R.I.) and junior Margaret McCaffrey (East Greenwich, RI) making it a 45-40 game in favor of USM with 3:47 to play. With its lead cut to two possessions, USM used a timely three from Curley stopped any thoughts of an Anchormen comeback, however, keying a game-sealing 9-0 run to close out the game for the 54-40 final.
Southern Maine hosts Eastern Connecticut in a Little East Conference game on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).
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