GORHAM, Maine – Ahead by a single point with 32 second to play, senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) and junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) each came up with big steals and converted at the free throw line to help the University of Southern Maine Huskies earn a 57-50 win over the Rhode Island College Anchormen in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium.
The win is the third straight for the Huskies who improve to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Little East Conference. Rhode Island College drops to 8-2, and 2-2 in the LEC.
Tied up at 27-27 at the half, USM used a late third quarter run to take a 39-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Huskies' sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) and freshman Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla./Lewiston) each had strong third quarter performances and combined to score all six of their teams points in a quarter-closing 6-0 run.
The Huskies continued their scoring to open the fourth with back-to-back buckets from Luckhardt and Harris to open up their biggest lead of the game 43-32 with 7:41 to play, making it 10 unanswered points in a row for USM. RIC junior Jordyn Gauvin (Fall River, Mass./Durfee) halted the run, and a three from sophomore Sophia Guerrier (Waltham, Mass.) sandwiched around a pair of free throws from USM's Harris made it and eight point game, 45-37, with 6:17 to go, but Harris connected again on a short jumper for a 47-37 USM lead with 5:51 left.
With time winding down, RIC pressed and was able to rattle off an 8-0 run. Four different players were able to score for the Anchormen in the run, including a three from sophomore Brooke Young (West Warwick, R.I.), to make it a one-possession game, 47-45, with 3:12 left.
USM seniors Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) and Srolovitz hit clutch jumpers on the Huskies next two possessions to lead 51-45 with 1:42 to play. After a 30-second timeout, RIC stormed back again with five straight points to make it 51-50. RIC junior Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, R.I.) converted a layup out of the time out and Guerrier came up with a steal and then made a three-point play for the one-point game with 32 seconds left. With the game in question, Srolovitz came up with a steal and canned both of her free throws, before Luckhardt did the same for a 55-50 Huskies lead. Forced to take threes, RIC missed on its last possession and Howrigan cleared the boards before being fouled and sinking two free throws for the 57-50 final.
Howrigan finished with a game-high 12 points, adding five rebounds, one blocked shot, one assist and a steal. Luckhardt had 10 points, a team-high seven rebounds, five assists, and six steals. Harris had a solid game off of the bench shooting 4-for-7 from the field for 10 points, adding three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Freshman Jamayra Castro (Bellingham, Mass./St. Andrews) led RIC with 11 points off of the bench. She shot 5-for-11 from the field and snagged seven rebounds. Guerrier had nine points, and six rebounds, while Gauvin tossed in eight points and had seven boards. Freshman Willcia McBorrough (Providence, R.I./St. Andrews) had seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Southern Maine is off until Saturday and will travel to Regis (Mass.) for a non-conference game. Tip off is 1 p.m.