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Women's Basketball: Golden Bears Have Enough to Withstand Warriors' Charge

Aiyana Ward maintains the upper hand in this rebounding battle with Western New England's Emily Scurka Thursday night.
Aiyana Ward maintains the upper hand in this rebounding battle with Western New England's Emily Scurka Thursday night.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass-  The Western New England University women's basketall team outscored Eastern Connecticut State University 11-3 over the final three minutes after the Warriors had cut an 11-point deficit to three in a 67-57 non-conference victory Thursday evening at the Healthful Living Center.

Eastern (11-7) hit its first three shots and scored the first six points of the game, but Western New England (12-7) pulled even at 12-all with two minutes left in the first quarter, then never trailed following pair of free throws by Grace Fisher a minute into the second quarter that made it 14-12.

The Warriors tied the game three times in the third quarter but the Golden Bears closed out the third quarter with the final five points – three coming on Meghan Gilhool's three-point – and hit the opening bucket of the fourth to move out to a seven-point, 46-39 lead with nine minutes left.

Eastern made its final bid to catch the hosts with a 10-2 scoring run over 3:30 that sliced an 11-point deficit to three, 56-53, with 3:13 left, but the Warriors went cold the rest of the way and were outscored by seven the rest of the way.

In that 10-2 burst, juniors Mya Villard (Cromwell) and Julie Jordan (Sterling) combined for all of the Warriors' points. Villard had seven points on three inside baskets and a free throw and Jordan sank a short jumper off an inbound and also converted a free throw.

Villard led Eastern with 16 points and nine rebounds, freshman Julie Keckler (Trumbull) adding ten points and five rebounds and freshman Anna Barry (Andover) chipping in ten points on 5-of-5 shooting, three rebounds and three blocks. She is now shooting 58.5 percent from the floor with a team-leading 24 blocked shots in an average of only 12 minutes per game.

Emily Farrell led WNEU with 21 points and six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and no turnovers in 38 minutes. Meghan Orbann had 18 points, converting four of five three-pointers.

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference game Saturady at 1 p.m.