Women's Basketball: Erica Rate Shoots Norwich Past Husson, 68-54
GORHAM, Maine - Junior guard Erica Rate poured in a game-high 23 points, including seven three-pointers, to lead Norwich past Husson, 68-54, in a first round game of the USM Tip-Off Tournament at the Warren Hill Gymnasium Friday night.
The win moves the Cadets (2-0) into Saturday afternoon's championship game, where they will face the University of Southern Maine Huskies at 3 p.m. The Huskies punched their ticket into the championship game with a 76-57 victory over the Maine-Farmington Beavers in Friday night's second game. The Eagles (1-1) will take on the Beavers in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
Rate connected on 8-of-18 shots from the floor, including 7-of-14 from beyond the three-point arc, for her 23 points. Senior guard Kayleigh Shappy was the only other Cadet to reach double figures with 10 points coming on a three-pointer and seven free throws.
The game was nip and tuck throughout with both teams enjoying small leads. After a basket by Noelle Lincoln to tie the score at 46-46 with 8:36 to go, the Cadets put together a decisive 13-0 run to take command. Rookie forward Tara Stevenson gave the Cadets the lead for good with a basket in the paint. Two free throws by junior guard Natalie Marchese, followed by a pair of three-pointers from Rate pushed the margin to 10 (56-46) with 6:49 to play. The Eagles hurt their chances missing a pair of shots and committing three turnovers in five possessions.
Sophomore forward Laurel McWilliams continued the Cadets' surge with a three-point play before Bree Hanscom stopped the bleeding with a layup. The Cadets got two free throws from freshman guard Kayla Whitman and a basket from junior guard Ally Daniels to gain their biggest lead of the night, 63-48, with 3:41 to play.
The Eagles had the better shooting percentage, hitting 38 percent (23-of-60) of their shots, but were hurt by 25 turnovers. The Cadets made only 33 percent (22-of-66) of their shots, but made 8-of-22 three-point tries and turned the ball over just 13 times. The Eagles won the battle of the boards, 45-36.
The Eagles were led by Hanscom, Lincoln and Shelby Bradford as each contributed 12 points. Bradford finished the night with a double-double by also grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.