DANBURY, Conn. – Sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) had a season-high 25 points to lead four players in double-figures as the University of Southern Maine Huskies downed the Western Connecticut State University Colonials 89-69 in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena. Curley and the Huskies combined to shoot an outstanding 55.4 percent (41-for-74) from the field.
With the win, Southern Maine completes its regulars season with a 15-10 record and an 11-5 mark in Little East Conference play. Western Connecticut concludes its season with a record of 11-14 overall, and 5-11 in the LEC. Southern Maine will be the third seed in the upcoming 2019 Little East Conference women's basketball championship, and will host sixth-seed Castleton University in a quarterfinal game on Tuesday, February 19 (7:00 pm) at Hill Gymnasium.
The game's leading scorer, Curley was 12-for-20 from the field, adding a team-high seven rebounds. The 5-9 guard had three assists, a steal and a blocked shot off of the bench. Freshman Victoria Harris (Lewiston, Maine) also came off the bench for the Huskies shooting 6-for-10 from the field with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) had 13 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals on 6-for-8 shooting, while junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) went 5-for-8 for 10 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Jancy Sherwood and Asiah Knight each scored 13 points to lead WestConn. Sherwood hit three three-pointers, while Knight led the Colonials with seven rebounds. Gabrielle Hurlbert and Katelynn Fanning had eight and seven points each.
In a closely played first half, WestConn led the Huskies by a point, 26-25, after Knight made a pair of free throws for the Colonials with 5:03 to play. However, after a pair of empty possessions for each team, Husky junior Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) put Southern Maine up for good with a layup off of one of five assists in the game for classmate Kristina Blais (Lewiston, Maine) with 3:16 to play in the half to start a pivotal 15-5 run. Curley and Harris each had four points in the run, while Srolovitz closed the half with a steal, a layup and a free throw to complete the traditional three-point play for the 40-31 lead at the break.
WestConn opened the third with a 10-5 run, highlighted by threes from Sherwood and Hurlbert, to cut its deficit to 45-41 with 7:31 to play in the quarter. With its lead cut to two possesions, Southern Maine responded with a 12-3 run. Five different players scored in a balanced attack for the Huskies, including back-to-back buckets from Harris on feeds from Curley to give USM a comfortable 57-44 lead with 3:34 to play. Both teams played back-and-forth, and USM took a 61-49 lead into the fourth.
Continuing the back-and-forth play to begin the fourth quarter, Knight brought her Colonials to within 10, 67-57, with a steal and a layup. But, USM countered with an 12-1 spurt to grab a commanding 79-58 lead with 5:05 in regulation. Blais, Curley, Harris and Srolovitz combined for the Huskies 12, led by four points each from Curley and Srolovitz. From there, USM stayed in front and cruised to the 89-69 final.
Southern Maine remains on the road and travels to Western Connecticut State on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) in its regular season finale.