GORHAM, Maine – Junior Haley Jordan (Falmouth, Maine) scored a game-high 23 points on a 10-for-16 effort from the field to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 69-56 win over the Western Connecticut State University Colonials Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.
The win is the fifth straight for Southern Maine as the Huskies improve to 15-4 overall and 7-2 in the Little East Conference. Western Connecticut drops its second straight contest to fall to 13-6 and 5-4 in the conference.
Jordan led four Huskies in double-figures as Southern Maine played without starting forwardCourtney Cochran (Waite, Maine/Woodland), who missed the game due to family obligations. Junior forward Jordan Grant (Concord, N.H.) recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds on a 5-for-11 mark from the field. Grant added a team-high five steals. Freshman forward Abby Hasson (South Portland, Maine) had a huge game off of the bench for the Huskies scoring a career-high 12 points, while senior guard Renee Nicholas (Sebago, Maine/Lake Region) added 11 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Senior guard Stephanie Slonski (Griswold, Conn.) led the Colonials with 16 points and a game-high seven assists. Sophomore forward Sciarra Brandt (Thomaston, Conn.) tossed in 13 points, five rebounds and six assists. Junior forward Carly Murphy (Wolcott, Conn.) and freshman guard Amber Litwinko (Kensington, Conn./St. Paul Catholic) each scored nine points.
In a back-and-forth constest with seven ties and seven lead changes, the Huskies were able to pull away from the Colonials with a solid defensive effort midway through the second half. Trailing by six, 48-42, with 9:41 to play following a layup from Slonski, the Huskies rattled off 16 unanswered points during a five minute stretch to lead 58-48 with 4:07 remaining. USM forced the Colonials to commit seven turnovers during the run and held them to an 0-for-3 mark from the field. Jordan led the way offensively for the Huskies scoring seven of the 16 points.
Murphy broke up the scoring drought for the Colonials sinking a pair of free throws with 3:56 to play, but USM senior Nicole Garland (Portland, Maine/Deering) was fouled on the Huskies next possession, sank two free throws and returned the ten-point, 60-50, lead with 2:55 on the clock.
Brandt trimmed the Colonials' deficit to eight, 60-52, with two minutes to play, but the Huskies' Nicholas scored six of her teams' final nine points as part of a 9-4 run to close out the game for the 69-56 final.
Southern Maine finished the game shooting 44.1 percent (26-for-59) from the field but did not hit a three-pointer (0-for-7). The Colonials shot 44.4 percent (20-for-45) from the floor, including a solid 10-for-26 mark from three-point range, but were hampered by 26 turnovers. Southern Maine scored 27 of its 69 points off of Colonial turnovers. Jordan, Grant and Hasson controlled the interior as USM outscored Western Connecticut 44-8 down low.
Southern Maine hosts Colby College on Tuesday (5:30 p.m. ) in a non-conference game. Western Connecticut travels to Bridgewater State on Thursday (7:00 p.m.) for a non-conference match up.