MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College women's basketball team pulled out a 71-64 victory over Pine Manor College on Saturday afternoon in the Curry College Tip-Off Tournament action at the Katz Gymnasium. The Colonels improve to 2-0 on the season and advance to the championship game of the tournament on Sunday. Pine Manor drops to 0-2 on the season. The Gators will play in the consolation game at 1:00 on Sunday.
Curry shot 37.1 percent as a team with two student-athletes in double figures. Emily Irwin (Billerica, Mass.) netted a game-high 22 points, 15 steals and added nine rebounds and seven assists. Molly Plunkett (Quincy, Mass.) put up 13 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Gina Coote (Dedham, Mass.) and Sam Bamford (North Easton, Mass.) tallied nine points as they each played 31 minutes.
The trio of Taylor Ingram Martin (Merrit Island, Fla.), Kristina Giunta (Boston, Mass.) and Shaquanda Middleton (Savannah, Ga.) paced Pine Manor. Ingram Martin finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds while Giunta added 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Middleton a double-double of her own with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Curry led 18-14 after the opening period, but Pine Manor responded to close the gap in the second. With 7:39 left in the second frame, the Gators closed to within two (24-22) on a layup by Erica Jones (Atlanta, Ga.). Caroline Kilduff (Rockland, Mass.) answered back with a basket of her own but that was quickly countered with two straight buckets from the Gators. The Colonels regained the lead and pushed it to as many as five when Plunkett converted a layup to make the score, 33-28. Pine Manor scored one more time before the end of the quarter, thanks to a made jumper from Giunta, to make the score 33-30 heading into the halftime break.
The Curry lead would grow to as many as nine in the third, thanks to the Colonels outscoring the Gators 11-6 over the first 7:07 of the quarter. Bamford made the score 44-35 with a layup, but the Gators closed the gap to five going into the fourth as they trailed at the end of three, 46-41.
The final quarter of action featured 48 total points and some quick answers on both sides. With 8:05 left, Nakazja Holley (Middletown, Conn.) cut the deficit to just two and then Shaneka Monroe (Jersey City, N.J.) tied the contest with a free throw with 6:32 remaining in regulation. The contest was tied at 56 with after an Irwin free throw with 3:37 to go. The lead was stretched to four with 3:01 left. Threes on back-to-back possessions from Middleton tied the game at 62 but Coote came back with a three to grab a 65-62 lead with 2:06 left in regulation. Curry would not look back and pulled away late to grab the 71-64 victory.
Curry will host Maine Maritime at 3:00 p.m. in the championship game of the Curry College Tip-Off Tournament. Pine Manor will battle Mount Holyoke in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m.