February 3, 2011

Nor'Easters Overtake Leopards in Second Half

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior guard Carrie Bunnell (Barnet, Vt.) scored a game-high 22 points, including going 6-for-9 from behind the three-point arc as the University of New England women's basketball team won its fifth straight game with a 62-50 win over Wentworth in a The Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup at Tansey Gym.

The host Leopards kept the visitors off the board for the first 6:49 while jumping out to a seven-point lead on a pair of occasions, including when senior forward Kirsten Vallone (Avon, N.Y.) converted a layup with 11:29 remaining.  The Nor'Easters got their first field goal of the game with 11:12 left in the half on a free throw from sophomore forward Eden Cianciolo (Fryeburg, Maine).  That basket began an 11-0 run, which was capped off by a junior forward Margo Russell (Madison, Maine) free throw.

Wentworth scored the next five points and took a 14-13 lead on a freshman guard Christine Henry (Tewksbury, Mass.) jumper with 5:37 left.  After Russell drained a pair from the charity stripe, sophomore guard Jordan Biggar (Beverly, Mass.) scored the next four points to give Wentworth a 18-15 lead.  The lead would be short-lived, however, as Bunnell buried a three to tie the contest at 18-all.  A trifecta from Vallone gave the hosts a 21-18 halftime lead.

Vallone drained a three to open the second half, giving Wentworth a six-point cushion at 24-18, but seven straight points – including four from junior guard Kelley Paradis (Newport, Maine) – gave UNE a 25-24 lead with 17:43 remaining.

Biggar countered with a three-pointer to give the Leopards a 27-25 lead, but Bunnell hit another three, which began a 16-2 run and gave the Nor'Easters a 41-29 lead with 14:32 left in the contest.

UNE would lead by as many as 14 before Wentworth scored seven straight points to trim the deficit in half.  However, a pair of free throws and a layup from sophomore forward Beth Suggs (Bath, Maine) pushed the lead back to 11.

The Nor'Easters would lead by as many as 18 with 1:35 remaining before Wentworth closed the final gap to a dozen.

In addition to Bunnell, Paradis scored all 19 of her points in the second half, while grabbing nine rebounds and three steals.

Freshman forward Kendra Kerr (Marshfield, Mass.) led Wentworth with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Vallone added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

With the win the Nor'Easters improve to 14-6 overall and 7-1 in TCCC play.  UNE hosts Roger Williams on Saturday.  Wentworth falls to 8-12 (2-6) and hosts Anna Maria on Saturday.