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Women's Basketball: For Starters, Conn's First Five are No Match for Warriors, Who Sink Free Throws and Camels

Senior guard Lizzy Cretella bolstered the Warriors with 13 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the team's 74-60 non-conference win at Connecticut College Sunday afternoon.
Senior guard Lizzy Cretella bolstered the Warriors with 13 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the team's 74-60 non-conference win at Connecticut College Sunday afternoon.
NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team sank 13 of 14 free throws in a 28-point fourth quarter to post a 74-60 non-conference win over Connecticut College Sunday afternoon at Luce Fieldhouse.
 
Playing its first game in over a week, Eastern (3-1) broke a tie by scoring the final five points of the third quarter  that kicked off a decisive 11-1 run over a span of four minutes and 30 seconds that pushed the lead to double figures with 6:30 left in the game.
 
Shooting 81 percent from the foul line through its first three games, Eastern was 22-of-27 from the stripe against Conn (3-3), which has lost three of its last four to drop to 2-5 against the Warriors in the last seven meetings.
 
Thirteen of Eastern's fourth-quarter points came from the foul line and allowed the Camels to pull to within single figures only once. In the fourth quarter, senior Mya Villard (Cromwell) and sophomores Julie Keckler (Trumbull) and Danielle O'Brien (Rockland, MA) -- making her first start of the year -- were all perfect on four free throw attempts. Villard, returning to the lineup after missing two starts with injury, is 19-of-22 from the stripe this year.
 
Conn's reserves outscored Eastern's bench players, 28-3, but it proved to be inconsequential as the Warriors' starters dominated play. Keckler, Villard and six-foot sophomore Anna Barry (Andover) all had 17 points, and senior Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire) added 13 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. As a starting unit, those four along with O'Brien were 21-of-25 from the foul line.
 
Villard led Eastern with 11 rebounds, Barry grabbing seven.
 
Conn's Dana Muckstadt was held scoreless in a starting role but pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Two Conn starters managed to combine for only two points on 1-of-13 shooting from the floor.
 
Eastern opens its Little East Conference schedule Wednesday at Western Connecticut State University at 5:30 p.m.