Feb. 5, 2011
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior guard Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) contributed all four of her first half field goals to spark a decisive 12-2 run over the final five minutes of the first half and the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team went on to a 73-51 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Now 9-1 at home this year, Eastern (15-6, 8-2 little east) was able to shake free from UMass Boston (11-9, 2-8 little east) in the final minutes of the first half, holding the Beacons to just one field goal in that stretch to build a 12-point, 34-22 halftime lead.
After UMass scored the first points after the break, the second half proved to be a formality after a run of nine straight points ballooned the lead to 25, 49-24, five minutes into the frame. After shooting 52 percent in the first half, the Warriors connected on 53 percent of their second-half shots. Junior forward Piper Chapman (Portsmouth, RI) and sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) did most of the second-half damage. The duo each had 12 points and five rebounds without a turnover over the final 20 minutes, combining to sink 11 of 18 field goals. Most of their points came in the paint, where the Warriors outscored the visitors by a 44-14 margin.
With the top four teams in the conference all winning Saturday, the Warriors remain in third place, one game back of co-leaders Western Connecticut and the University of Southern Maine and two games ahead of Rhode Island College. Unofficially, Eastern's victory, coupled with Keene State College's loss to visiting Rhode Island College, guarantees the Warriors no worse than the No. 4 seed in the LEC tournament which gets underway in just over two weeks. The top two finishers in the conference standings receive first-round byes and the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds host first-round contests.
Ranked first in the LEC in rebounding margin, the Warriors allowed UMass to score only one hoop following n offensive rebound in the game, while the hosts cashed in with 16 second-chance points.
After averaging 98 points in its last two wins, Eastern used defense to turn back the Beacons. The Warriors held UMass to 27 percent shooting from the floor in keeping their opponent to 55 or less points for the 13th time in 21 games.
Carter led four Eastern double-digit scorers with a season-high 18 points, with Chapman finishing in double figures for the eighth time in the last ten games with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds. Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) had 12 points, six rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots and Pierlioni 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Since winning its first seven road games of the season, UMass dropped its fourth straight away from home, sixth in a row overall to LEC opponents.
Freshman guard Kendra Mosley (Indian Head, MD) and sophomore forward Elisa Ogawaa (Yamanashi, Japan) each had 13 points for UMass, with Mosley totaling a double-double with a game-high ten rebounds. Freshman guard Colleen Hooper (Mansfield, MA) came off the bench for 12 points
Eastern hosts Keene State College Tuesday at 5:30 p.m while UMass Boston host UMass Dartmouth the same night in a 5:30 p.m. contest.
*Release content courtesy of ECSU Sports Information Dept.