special thank you to BSU Sports Information office
DANBURY, Conn. – Senior guard Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, N.Y.) scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team to a 92-78 victory over visiting Bridgewater State University in the semifinal round of the Hat City Tournament on Saturday evening at Feldman Arena.
The host Colonials improve to 5-5 on the season and advance to the tournament championship game on Sunday afternoon at four against Oneonta State, which defeated William Paterson, 70-60 in the other first-round game on Saturday. The Bears fall to 3-7 and will play in the tournament consolation game on Sunday at 2 pm against the Pioneers.
Junior guard Genesis Torres (Stratford, Conn.) added 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals for Western Connecticut, while sophomore forward Asiah Knight (Norwalk, Conn.) tallied 13 points, seven boards and seven steals. Junior guard Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, Conn.) checked in with 10 points and six caroms in 19 minutes off the bench.
Senior guard Olivia DelGrosso (Ledyard, Conn.) paced Bridgewater State with a career-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore forward Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) added 15 points, seven boards, two assists and two steals on 23 minutes off the bench, while freshman guard Olivia Dziadyk (Wakefield, Mass.) notched ten points, three rebounds and a career and game-best six assists
A 9-0 run by Western Connecticut out of the gate was answered by a 9-0 Bridgewater State run. DelGrosso scored seven of the Bears' first nine points including a three-pointer. With the score knotted at 13-13 with 5 ½ minutes left to play in the first quarter, the Colonials outscored the Bears 14-3 over the next five minutes to open up an 11-point advantage (27-16) with 24 seconds remaining. Five different players scored during the run for the Colonials including five points from Sherwood. The Bears scored the scored the final four points of the period on a DelGrosso jumper and a pair of free throws from senior guard Danielle Arcidiacono (Bellingham, Mass.) to make it a seven-point game (27-20) at the end of one.
A 9-2 during a two-minute stretch of the second quarter helped the Colonials open up a 13-point lead (44-31) with 3:47 remaining. Four different players scored during the spurt. A three-pointer by Dziadyk followed by a Maggie Hester (Braintree, Mass.) layup pulled the Bears to within eight (44-36). West Conn would ultimately take a 48-38 lead into the break.
DelGrosso scored 14 points in the first half to lead all players. All 14 of her points came in the first quarter. Hurlbert, Torres and Sherwood tallied eight points apiece to pace the Colonials over the first 20 minutes.
The Bears shot 50% (16-32) from the floor in the first half but just 3-for-11 (27%) from behind the arc and 3-for-6 at the free throw line. The Colonials shot 46% (16-35) from the floor, 31% (5-16), from three-point range and 79% (11-14) at the charity stripe. The two teams combined for 36 turnovers over the first two quarters with Bridgewater committing 20 of those miscues.
West Conn outscored Bridgewater State 29-16 in the third quarter, including the final eight points of period, as the Colonials opened up a 23-point lead (77-54). West Conn got up by as many as 25 points (86-61) in the fourth quarter before an 11-2 BSU run pulled the Bears to within 16 (88-72) with 3:15 left to play. A Samantha Garcia (Highland, N.Y.) three-pointer ended the run and pushed the Colonial lead back to 19 (91-72) with 2:41 remaining. The final score of 92-78 would be as close as the Bears would get the rest of the way.
In the nightcap, the Red Dragons improved to 8-1 on the season and extended their win streak to four games. They were paced by a very balanced offensive attack with Leanne Corso (Commack, NY) and Madeline Frank (Syracuse, NY) each scoring 14 points while Alexa Amalbert (Nanuet, NY) poured in 13 in the victory.
William Paterson, now 5-7, were led by Alisa Giordano's (Wood-Ridge, NJ) game-high 22 points. CeCe Green (Boonton, NJ) and Carolyn Hill (Martinsburg, WV) added 15 and 10 points, respectively for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers' largest lead on the night came at the 6:48 mark of the first stanza when Green converted the lay in to give her team an 11-3 advantage. Oneonta would go on to score 11 of the games next 14 points to draw even at 14-14. Casey Hayes (New Hyde Park, NY) canned the lay up with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter for the first of three ties on the night.
The Red Dragons headed into intermission with a 33-31 advantage after Frank buried a long three-pointer inside of two minutes remaining of the first half.
Following a three pointer by Corso at the 7:18 mark of the third quarter, Oneonta would take a 39-36 advantage and never trail the rest of the way.
Corso and Clara Culeton (Oswego, NY) each gathered a team-leading seven rebounds for the winners.
Viana Soriano (New Milford, NJ) hauled in a game-high 10 boards for the Pioneers.
GAME NOTE: Oneonta did not commit a personal foul throughout the entire first half of play.