March 5, 2010

Courtesy of Western Connecticut Athletics

BRUNSWICK, ME (March 5)-- The Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships following its 59-41 victory over University of New England, at Bowdoin College, on Friday night.

The Colonials, now 23-5, will take on the winner of the second first round game, between host Bowdoin and Baruch College, Saturday at 7 pm.

Junior center Melissa Teel (Hamden, CT) missed out on her 24th double-double of the season, scoring nine points, but cleaned up on the glass, gathering 19 rebounds for the winners. Teel, the nation's leading shot blocker, was credited with seven blocked shots on the night.

Heather Lee (Seymour, CT) led all scorers with 14 points and had a balanced performance, netting seven points in each half.

Karli Spera (Waterford, CT) 11 points, despite converting just 3-of-13 shots from the field. She contributed in several ways and was second on the team with six rebounds.

The Colonials opened the game on an 8-0 run, capped off by a lay in by Teel with 14:25 remaining in the first stanza.

The Nor'easters got on the scoreboard 5:57 into the contest when Kelly Paradis (Newport, ME) canned two free throws.

WestConn remained clamped down defensively and with 7:49 remaining before the break, New England's only points had come from the free-throw line. A pair from Carrie Bunnell (Barnet, Vt.) drew UNE still trailed, 15-6. It struggled from the field in the first half, missing its first 18 attempts and finished the half, making just 1-of-23 attempts (4%) from the floor. It hung around by making 9-of-11 tries (82%) from the charity stripe.

Chelsey Meszaros (North Claredon, Vt.) ended the draught, from the field, with its first bucket, with 3:25 left in the half.

The Colonials, which led by as many as 13 points in the first half, held a 23-11 advantage at the break.

UNE, 23-6, cut its deficit to nine points on two occasions early in the second half. Paradis drilled a bank shot, from the left side with 15:20 remaining in the game, to make the score, 26-17 at that point.

Spera nailed a long three pointer 17 second later to put WestConn up by 12 points and it led by double digits the rest of the way.

The Colonials' largest lead was 21 points, 57-36, in the closing minutes when Michelle Djonovic (Dover Plains, NY) hit the back end of two free throws.

Bunnell led the way for New England, scoring 10 points. Paradis netted eight points and led the Nor'easters with eight caroms.