WALTHAM, Mass. – The Rhode Island College women's basketball team put four starters in double figures today as the Anchorwomen defeated the host Brandeis University Judges, 66-49, in the championship game of the 2010 Judges Classic. RIC was paced by a game-high 24 points by junior guard Stephanie Coro (No. Providence, R.I./No. Providence), who took home tournament MVP honors.
Brandeis (2-2) got 16 points and a team-high four assists from junior guard Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable). Kendrew, who has led the Judges in scoring in all four games this season, got her points on 6-of-14 overall, 2-of-9 from deep and 2-of-2 from the line. Junior Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) added 12 points, one shy of her career high, including 10 in the second half. Senior forward Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wis./DePere) led all players with nine rebounds, while junior forward Brighid Courtney (Southampton, Mass./Northampton) had eight boards. As a team, Brandeis outrebounded RIC, 46-28, including 19-8 on the offensive glass.
Rhode Island College (3-0) used a fine defensive effort along with their balanced scoring to earn the win today. The Anchorwomen forced 31 Brandeis turnovers and owned a 35-12 advantage in points off those mistakes to take the win. Seventeen of their turnovers were as a result of steals, with four different players making at least three swipes. Coro topped the team in that statistic as well with five. The Anchorwomen held Brandeis to 33.9 percent shooting from the floor (20-59) and 23.1 percent from 3-point range (6-26).
Offensively, RIC was paced by Coro, who had 17 of her game-high 24 points in the first half. She shot 6-for-10, including all three 3-point attempts, in the first, finishing 8-for-18 overall, 4-for-9 from deep, and 4-for-4 from the line. Also scoring in double figures for the Anchorwomen was sophomore forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, Mass./Rockland), while senior guard Lauren Harrington (Exeter, R.I./Exeter-West Greenwich) and junior forward Rachel Riley (Coventry, R.I./Coventry) each had 10 points and tied for team-high honors with five rebounds. Riley and junior guard Nicole Girard (Foster, R.I./Ponaganset) tied for game-high honors with four assists each.
Brandeis jumped out to a 9-4 lead less than 4:30 into the contest when Strodthoff went coast-to-coast after grabbing a rebound. After RIC coach Marcus Reilly called timeout, the Anchorwomen responded, scoring 15 straight points – 10 from Coro, who hit a pair of trifectas in the run - over the next seven minutes. They forced eight turnovers, while Brandeis missed seven shots, as RIC took their largest lead of the first half, 19-9, on a Brittany Saccoccio (Gloucester, R.I./Ponaganset) free throw at the 8:49 mark.
Brandeis responded with a 13-2 run of their own, reclaiming 22-21 lead with 4:01 remaining on a put-back by sophomore Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley). She and Kendrew each had four points in the run. RIC answered by scoring 14 of the last 18 points in the half, half coming from the free-throw line, to take a 35-26 lead into the locker room.
The Judges climbed back within three points on a couple of occasions early in the second half, including a Courtney put-back just under four minutes in that got them within 37-34. RIC answered by holding Brandeis to just one field goal over the next six minutes, outscoring them 19-3. Eight points came from Harrington in the stretch which put the visitors up by 17 midway through the half. The lead never got below double digits the rest of the way.
Connecticut College (1-1) defeated Springfield (0-3), 66-60, in the consolation game. The teams were evenly matched, with Connecticut shooting 21-for-59 (35.6%) and Springfield shooting 20-for-59 (33.9%) from the floor. But the Camels had the edge in free-throws, shooting 16-for-19 (84.2%), and in 3-pointers, making 8-of-20 (40%). The Pride were 16-for-24 (66.7%) from the line and made 4-of-15 (26.7%) from deep.
For the Camels, rookie forward Tara Gabelman (Irvington, N.Y./Irvington) recorded a double-double and had game-highs with 22 points and 12 rebounds. She also led the team with five assists and netted two blocks. Rookie forward Caitlin Cimino (Falmouth, Maine/Catherine McAuley) also posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and two blocks. Also scoring in double digits was junior guard Jennifer Shinall (Redding Ridge, Conn./Joel Barlow) with 21 points, sinking 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Shinall led the game with five steals.
For the Pride, senior guard Abby Connors (Douglas, Mass./MacDuffie) led her team with 12 points, while sophomore guard Meghan Biondolillo (Levittown, N.Y./Island Trees) put up 10 points. Senior forward Amelia Sapowsky (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) and Emily Walker ( Lee, Mass./Lee) each had eight rebounds.
The first eight minutes of the first half saw the Pride's only lead of the game. With the scored tied 15-15 at 12:33, the Camels made a seven point run, outscoring their opponent 11-4. At 10:06, with the Camels up by one, rookie guard Aly Boyle (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) hit a three. Camino rebounded a missed layup from the Pride and sent a quick pass to Shinall who drained the shot from outside, to increase their margin to seven. The Pride made a run of their own, tying the score once more at 7:04. But Connecticut answered back, ending the half with a four point lead at 39-35.
The Camels led the way most of the second half, regaining their seven point lead. But two good shots in the paint and one from wide allowed to the Pride to tie to the score 54-54 at 2:52. Not to be denied, the Camels never allowed their opponent to gain the lead, making every free-throw down the stretch to secure the game with a 6 point victory.
In addition to MVP Coro, the All-Tournament team consisted of Riley from RIC, Ethier and Kendrew from Brandeis, Gabelman from Connecticut College and Biondolillo from Springfield.