Connecticut College 57, ECSU 47
Gabelman Scores 16 of 18 Points in Second Half to Propel Camels to Sixth Straight Win
NEW LONDON, Conn.--Tara Gabelman (Irivington, N.Y.) poured in 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Connecticut College women's basketball team to a 57-47 victory against Eastern Connecticut State University in a non-conference game played at Luce Field House Monday night.
Gabelman had 16 points and nine rebounds in the second stanza en route to her sixth double-double of the season.
The Camels improve their record to 9-1 with their sixth straight win, while the Warriors fall to 4-5 with the setback.
Jenn Shinall (Redding, Conn.) chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds for the hosts. Caitlin Cimino (Falmouth, Maine) added nine points and three rebounds for the winning side.
Eastern Connecticut State was led by first year forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield, Conn.), who registered a double-double of her own with a game-high 21 points and 11 boards.
Taylor McBride (Willimantic, Conn.) finished with 10 points and four rebounds for the Warriors.
"That was a competitive, hard-fought game from start to finish," Connecticut College Head Women's Basketball Coach Brian Wilson said. "I was impressed with Eastern's resolve to play as hard as they did and execute as well as they did for 40 minutes despite dressing only seven players. We struggled offensively tonight and turned the ball over way too many times. I thought we defended well, especially in the first half, and we were outstanding on the offensive and defensive glass. We realize that we must continue to improve our half court offensive execution."
In the second half, Gabelman dominated the low post, as Connecticut College held 48-to-29 advantage on the backboards in the contest.
"Tara was huge for us in the second half, especially with those six offensive rebounds," Wilson said.
With 8:55 remaining, Gabelman knocked down a jumper to propel the Camels to their largest lead of the night at 49-31.
But the Warriors would not go away and the visitors frustrated the Camels with a full court press to key a 12-to-1 run. McCourt buried a turnaround jumper with 2:36 remaining that trimmed the deficit to 52-45.
"We did not handle Eastern's full court pressure well at all and that is an area that we will continue to focus on in practice," Wilson said.
But Kim Horne (Newport, N.H.) answered with a jumper on the ensuing possession and Gabelman converted a pair of free throws to put the game out of reach.
The hosts were able to hold on for the 57-47 win.
"I'm proud of our team for fighting through adversity tonight and earning a win despite our offensive woes," Wilson said.
Samantha Riccio (Avon, Conn.) put the visitors on top 8-5 in the early going with a hoop at the 12:57 mark of the first half.
But the Camels answered after Shinall dropped in trey with 11:07 remaining to grab hold of a 10-8 lead. Later on with 6:11 to go, Shinall banked in a runner to vault the Camels out to an 18-13 advantage.
"Jenn gave us 38 minutes of smart, solid basketball on both ends of the court tonight," Wilson said. "She played like a senior leader."
The resilient Warriors responded though and were able to knot things up at 19 aside when McBride put in a runner with 3:54 to go.
However, the Camels ended the half with a 10-to-0 run. Cimino buried back-to-back triples to cap the rally and the Camels carried a 29-19 advantage into the break.
The Camels will open NESCAC play this Friday night with a 6:00 p.m. game at Trinity College. The Warriors will visit SUNY New-Paltz this Wednesday for a 6:00 p.m. game in the Empire State.
January 2, 2012