NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's basketball team fell in the opening game of the 2019 Ed Hockenbury Classic on Friday evening in Andrews Gym. The Cadets and Bears were engaged in a defensive battle, but a brief run in the third quarter for Coast Guard handed Norwich a 60-48 loss.
Norwich (2-5) moves on to the consolation game tomorrow at 1 p.m. against the University of Maine at Presque Isle while Coast Guard (6-2) advances to the championship game where they will play Wellesley College at 3 p.m.
The teams battled back and forth to start the first quarter. After Norwich junior guard Riley Bennett (Hopkinton, N.H.) sank a pull-up jumper to make it 6-6, the Bears followed that with a 15-3 run to close out the quarter and take a 21-9 lead into the second period.
A Bennett triple and a layup by senior forward KristieAnn DeSilvio (Chelmsford, Mass.) brought the Cadets to within 21-14 at the 8:36 mark. A made free throw by Coast Guard interrupted what would have been a 12-0 run to start the second stanza and the Cadets were back in the game trailing just 22-21 with 5:15 remaining. The teams traded baskets before the Bears scored five straight resulting in a 31-25 lead at the half.
Norwich continued to chip away at the lead reducing the deficit to 37-36 following a made three-pointer by junior guard Emily Schromm (North Attleboro, Mass.) with 4:50 to play in the third quarter. The turning point of the game was when the Bears' Jacqueline Ward took over the rest of the quarter scoring six of the team's seven final points to re-establish a 45-36 lead heading into the final quarter.
Norwich attempted to whittle the lead back down in the fourth quarter, but every time they would score Coast Guard would answer right back and not allow the hosts any momentum for a possible comeback. The visitors grew their lead to as many as 16-points before settling in for the 12-point victory.
Bennett led all scorers with 16 points with junior guard Julia Vigorito (Malden, Mass.) contributing 10 points. Junior forward Caileigh Travers (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) and DeSilvio notched double-digit rebounds hauling in 11 and 10, respectively. Schromm guided the offense with a game-high five assists.
The Bears had three players score in double figures with Annabella Farabaugh leading the way with 15 points. Breanna Wood notched a double-double scoring 12 points and adding a game-tying-high 11 rebounds. Ward was 8-of-10 from the free-throw line highlighting her 12 points off the bench.
In the second game of the opening night, Wellesley (6-1) captured a 62-43 victory over the University of Maine-Presque Isle (1-5). The Blue employed an aggressive defense causing 30 turnovers and holding the Owls to under 30 percent shooting. Pujita Shukla scored 12 points off the bench for the Blue, while Alyssa Cho led the starting unit with 10 points. UMPI was led by Hunter Mercier and Kyle Vining who each tallied 11 points in the loss.