GORHAM, Maine – Playing in their first game in three weeks, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' women's basketball team grinded out a 48-40 win over the Keene State College Owls in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium.
Shooting 30.0 percent (18-for-60) for the game, the Huskies overcame a cool shooting performance to earn its fifth consecutive win and improved to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in the Little East. Keene State drops to 2-10 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
Junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) led the Huskies with her first collegiate double-double with 10 points and a game and career-high 10 rebounds. The 5-4 guard added six steals and an assist. Senior Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) tossed in nine rpoints and had four rebounds, while Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) scored eight points, and had seven rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore Lilly Shlimon (Pelham, N.H.) had 12 points and seven rebounds to led KSC. Sophomore Tamra Gonyea (Meriden, Conn./Orville H. Platt) had seven points, while junior Hien Thach (Burlington, Vermont) and sophomore Abby Thut (North Ferrisburg, Vermont/Champlain Valley Regional) each scored six points.
Husky freshman Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla./Lewiston) scored five of her six points in the contest in the closing minutes of the first quarter to help USM to a commanding 17-6 lead. In the second quarter, the Huskies maintained a double-digit lead and led by 10, 25-15, with 2:24 before the halftime break on an offensive rebound and assist from Luckhardt to Howrigan. KSC closed out the half with a flurry scoring six unanswered points to trail 25-21 at the break. Shilmon had a traditional three-point play and Thach canned a three for the Owls.
KSC opened the third quarter on an 8-3 run and took the lead, 29-28, with 4:37 remaining in the quarter on a pair of free throws from sophomore Jordyn Burke (Bennington, Vermont/Mount Anthony). The Huskies responded however with a 9-0 run to close out the third and take a 37-29 lead into the fourth. Junior Kristina Blais (Lewiston, Maine/Lewiston) and sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) hit back-to-back jumpers to start the run which was closed out by a pair of mid-range jumpers from Luckhardt.
USM remained comfortably in front through the fourth and led by 11, 46-35, with 2:37 to play on a jumper from Srolovitz. KSC outscored USM 5-2 in the final minutes for the 48-40 final.
Southern Maine returns to action on Tuesday (3:00 p.m.) in Little East Conference action and hosts Western Connecticut State.