Golden Bears hang on to knock off UNE in CCC semifinal, 67-59

More news about: University of New England

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Third-seeded Western New England University had a 17-point cushion reduced all the way down to two before escaping with a 67-59 result against second-seeded University of New England in the semifinals of the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women's Basketball Championship on Thursday evening (Feb. 21) at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The Golden Bears (19-8) move on to Saturday's title round at Endicott College, where one squad will claim the program's first-ever CCC crown. The Gulls advanced past fifth-seeded Curry College, 67-51 [Interactive Bracket].

WNEU led the entire contest, and used a 10-0 spurt in 77 seconds down the stretch in the 3rd quarter to gain a 55-38 advantage. The Nor'easters made a small dent in the deficit early in the 4th, but still trailed 61-50 inside the final four minutes.

Then rookie Abby Cavallaro (CCC 3rd Team) put a jolt of energy into the building, drilling a pair of three-pointers on consecutive UNE possessions to slice the gap even further [Watch 3:26Watch 2:39]. The hosts missed three field goals and two free throws on its next trip, but Cavallaro stole it in the backcourt and stepped right into another triple to cut the margin down to 61-59 with 1:20 left [Watch].

On their ensuing trip, the Golden Bears used the full shot clock and Emily Farrell (CCC 1st Team) finally found an answer with a runner down the lane that double the spread (63-59) at the 0:48 mark. The Nor'easters could not get anything else to drop, though, and 4-of-8 freebies in the waning moments was enough for Western New England to survive UNE's comeback bid.

The six-time reigning league champions conclude the year with a record of 15-12.

Courtney Carlson topped the visitors with 20 points, and Farrell ended with 18 to go along with five assists and three steals. Meghan Orbann (CCC 1st Team) totaled 15 points and had a game-best 11 rebounds. Meghan Gilhool notched six points, seven boards, six assists, and three blocks for WNEU, which shot 47 percent (23-for-49) in the match. The Golden Bears also out-scored their opponent by nine (17-8) at the charity stripe.

Fifteen of Cavallaro's team-high 19 points came in the last stanza, and she added six rebounds. Ashley Coneysposted 16 points, five caroms, and four steals, prior to fouling out with 3:50 on the clock. Jocelyn Chaput (CCC 1st Team) registered nine points, eight boards, and four assists for the Nor'easters, who had a 39-31 edge on the glass.

UNE, however, generated just 13 points from 17 offensive rebounds, as the overall shooting accuracy from the floor dipped to 34 percent (22-of-64).

Farrell tallied five of her 11 1st-quarter points before UNE got on the scoreboard, and Western New England held a 23-12 lead between periods. The Nor'easters closed to within three at 29-26 in the 2nd, and 36-33 in the 3rd, before the Golden Bears put some distance between the teams.