DANBURY, CT – Despite a team-high 12 points from junior guard Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, CT), the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team fell to visiting non-conference opponent Stevens Institute of Technology, 75-57, in the season opener for both squads on Thursday night at the O'Neill Center's Feldman Arena. Sophomore guard Frances Snyder (Pine Plains, NY) chipped in with 11 points, while junior Jessica Davis (Hamden, CT) added a team-high five steals for the Colonials who dropped to 0-1 overall.
Graduate student center Anna Toke (Lincoln Park, NJ) paced the Ducks with a double-double on game-highs of 15 points and 18 rebounds. Rookie forward Jess Broad (Marlboro, NJ) contributed 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting to go along with a game-high seven steals.
"Stevens Tech is a very good team that showed us a lot about ourselves tonight which will only make us better," stated WestConn head coach Kimberley Rybcyzk as she began her 16th season at the helm of the program.
Neither squad shot the ball particularly well. However, the visitors did manage to strike for over 50% from the field in the second half. They also finished ahead in rebounds, 58-40, and assists, 17-10 for the game.
The Ducks began the contest with a staggering 17-5 run. Broad capped the spurt with a nifty layup. The Colonials trimmed the lead to 29-21 when senior guard Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, NY) buried a deep trifecta with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter. Stevens retaliated with a 10-2 run to seize a 39-23 halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Ducks' lead ballooned to 51-33 midway through the stanza. WestConn fought back and closed it to 56-47 in the fourth when Snyder buried a three-pointer from the top of the key. However, that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.
The Colonials return to action at non-league foe Purchase State on Tuesday at 7 p.m.