Women's Basketball: Warriors Make Early Run, Stumble in Middle Periods in Home Loss

A 5-foot-2 inch Kelly Reardon moves the ball against a 6-foot-1 inch Hannah Hackley (20) in the second half of Thursday night's 72-54 non-conference loss at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.  The Warriors played last year's undefeated national champions to a one-point game after one quarter before being outscored 39-19 in the middle two quarters. Eastern, the three-defending Little East Conference regular-season champion, opens LEC play Saturday at Rhode Island College at 1 p.m.
A 5-foot-2 inch Kelly Reardon moves the ball against a 6-foot-1 inch Hannah Hackley (20) in the second half of Thursday night's 72-54 non-conference loss at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. The Warriors played last year's undefeated national champions to a one-point game after one quarter before being outscored 39-19 in the middle two quarters. Eastern, the three-defending Little East Conference regular-season champion, opens LEC play Saturday at Rhode Island College at 1 p.m.

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team committed six turnovers and missed six of seven shots from the floor on its first 13 possessions of the second quarter and was outscored 15-2 in that stretch as Amherst College posted a 72-54 non-conference victory Thursday night at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Coming off a ten-day layoff, Eastern (0-3) outscored Amherst (5-0) 10-1 over six minutes in the first quarter to take its largest lead, 19-15, inside the final minute of the first quarter, but the Warriors sputtered in the second quarter. Eastern missed eight of 12 field goals and turned the ball over six times in those ten minutes, while Amherst got a combined 15 points (7-of-11 FG) from Emma McCarthy (four rebounds) and Hannah Hackley (Westford, MA) to take a nine-point, 37-28, lead into the second half.

The Mammoths quickly dispelled Eastern's hopes for a comeback, picking up where they left off in the second half by sinking half of their field goals in the quarter and getting a combined 15 points from Jackie Nagle off the bench and starter Hannah Fox to move out to a 19-point, 57-38 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

During their 10-1 run midway through the first quarter, the Warriors got points from four different players, with post players Mya Villard (Cromwell) and Kelsey Santagata (Stamford) scoring inside and Kelly Reardon (Holyoke, MA) and Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire) from the perimeter.

Four of Amherst's starters finished in double figures, led by McCarthy's double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) and a game-high 16 points, four rebounds and four assists from Hackley. Nagle was 7-of-8 from the floor with four rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench, scoring all 15 of her points in the second half. Madeline Eck added 13 points and Fox ten.

Villard led Eastern with 16 points, Cretella adding 12 points (5-of-6 from the foul line), Santagata 11 points, five assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Tara Prochorena (Colchester) contributed her first career field goal in the second half and senior Emily Menendez (Shelton) her first points of the season with a second-half field goal. Freshman Bella Scarpa (Braintree, MA)  grabbed her first career rebound in three minutes in her collegiate debut. Reardon and backcourt starter Julie Jordan (Sterling) turned the ball over only once each in a combined 58 minutes.

Three-time defending Little East Conference regular-season champion Eastern opens conference play Saturday at Rhode Island College at 1 p.m.