GORHAM, Maine – Junior Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) was 10-for-15 from the field for 29 points, adding five rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 66-49 win over the Western Connecticut State University Colonials in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium.
The win snaps a two-game slide for the Huskies who improve to 5-5 overall and 1-2 in the Little East. Western Connecticut is 2-6 and 0-2 in the LEC with the loss.
Curley was 3-for-4 from three-point range for her season high total. Sophomore Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla.) had nine points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for the Huskies, while junior Mary Toman (Gardiner, Maine) recorded a USM career-high with nine points and seven rebounds off of the bench for the Huskies. Senior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.), playing limited minutes, had five points, five rebounds and two steals.
Samantha Garcia and Hanna Maghini led WestConn with 11 and 10 points each respectively. Maghini was 2-for-3 from three-point range, as the Colonials fired 27 threes in the contest. Ashley Rilley had nine points and six rebounds, while Jasmine Caldwell led WestConn with nine rebounds, adding a pair of assists and steals and blocking three shots.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Playing a frenetic defensive scheme, WestConn kept the game a low-scoring affair with the Huskies leading 7-6 after the first quarter. Both teams had a pair of field goals in the first, as the WestConn defense forced USM into 10 first quarter turnovers. Harris led USM in the first with four points and four rebounds.
- USM took a narrow 25-23 lead into the halftime break. With the scored tied at 14 with 5:22 to play after a three from WestConn's Maghini, USM went on an 8-2 spurt to snag a 22-16 lead started by a traditional three-point play from Curley.
- Down 22-16, WestConn closed the second quarter on a 7-2 run, including a three from Sydney Gouveia and a buzzer-beating jumper from Lola Herman.
- In the third, USM outscored the Colonials 14-4 in the first six minutes, highlighted by five points and two rebounds from Toman and seven points from Curley, to lead 39-27 with 4:06 left in the frame. Both teams traded points the rest of the way, and USM led 46-36 headed into the fourth.
- WestConn scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter on a jumper from Katelyn Fanning, a three from Samantha Garcia and a layup from Susan Almeida to trail by two possessions, 46-40, with 8:35 on the clock. However, USM scored the next seven points unanswered, including four from Harris to lead 53-40 with just over five to play.
- A three from Garcia and one of two free throws from Gabrielle Hurlbert sandwiched around a layup from USM's Toman, pulled WestConn to within 11, 55-44, with 3:32 to play, but Curley scored 10 of the Huskies next 11 points as part of an 11-5 run to close out the game for the 66-49 final.
INSIDE THE HUSKIES STATS:
- Curley has scored in double figures in four of the Huskies' last five games and has reached double-digits in seven out of 10. She has 777 points in her career. In five games against Western Connecticut since 2017, Curley is averaging 27 points per game against the Colonials.
- USM outscored WestConn 41-26 in the second half. The Huskies shot 66.7 percent from the field in thee fourth quarter (2-for-2 from three).
- Toman set USM career-highs with nine points and seven rebounds off of the bench. She was 2-for-3 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
- Senior Katie Howe (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) had the second start of her career.
Southern Maine travels to Husson University on Tuesday (6:00 pm) for a non-conference game. The Huskies will then be off for the semester break, returning to action in the New Year on Thursday, January 2 (6:00 pm) at home versus Colby.