Gulls Glide by Women’s Basketball, Retain Top Spot in CCC

Gulls Glide by Women’s Basketball, Retain Top Spot in CCC

MILTON, Mass. - The Curry College women's basketball team had their winning streak snapped by the visiting Endicott College Gulls on Saturday afternoon in the Katz Gymnasium. The loss puts the Colonels' overall record at 10-8 with a 7-3 mark in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play. Endicott improves to 13-6 on the year and moves to two games ahead of Curry in the CCC at 9-1. In a match up that saw two of the top individual scorers in the conference, it was a balanced team effort on the part of the visitors which saw them come out victorious.

Endicott took control of the game early, converting a defensive rebound into a three pointer by sophomore Shannon Gilbert (Easton, Conn.) to take a 3-0 lead. Curry struggled from the floor, missing their first four shots, before a pair of free throws by senior guard Emily Irwin (Billerica, Mass.) put the hosts on the board. Irwin entered the game ranking second in the conference in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game. Endicott would stretch their lead to 7-2 just two and a half minutes into the first quarter, but a jumper from freshman Peyton Perine (Fairfax, Va.) followed by a three from her classmate Amanda Leal (Tyngsboro, Mass.) knotted the score. Endicott wouldn't stay down for long though, as a pair of baskets by junior Emily Pratt (Gardner, Mass.), split by another converted free throw from Irwin, would put the visitors up by a score of 12-8. Pratt also stacks up well in the CCC, as her 16.8 points per game put her third in the conference. Curry looked to close out the frame on the scoring end after Perine put in a layup with just 18 seconds left, but the defense slipped just enough to allow a triple from junior Kaleigh Putnam (Wallingford, Conn.), beating the buzzer and giving Endicott a 17-10 lead into the break.

The Gulls extended their lead slightly thanks to a free throw from Catie Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.), but that is all the scoring the Colonels would allow over nearly six more minutes of action. Just ten seconds after Lipscomb's score, Perine put in a pair for the Colonels, starting a 7-0 run for the hosts, cutting the deficit to just one at 18-17. The Gulls, however, would once again stave off the momentum of the hosts, scoring the next five points to retake a six point lead. The teams would trade baskets, with Curry pulling once again to within three at 26-23, but senior Molly Plunkett (Quincy, Mass.) got whistled for her first foul of the day with just 29 seconds left in the half, which sent Gilbert to the charity stripe for a pair, both of which were good. The Colonels then suffered from déjà vu, as the defense faltered following a Perine layup with 15 seconds left, by allowing a bucket from Putnam, which sent the Gulls into the half with a 30-25 advantage.

The first five minutes of the second half saw even efforts from the conference foes. Pratt started the scoring with a layup, but Perine found the bucket herself to return Curry's deficit to five. Putnam was the next to strike for Endicott, putting in a jumper just two minutes into the half, but Curry's freshman center would again find the basket to keep the score manageable. The teams would go on to trade the next five baskets, with Endicott retaining an eight point lead, but a jumper from Mikaela Rogers (Haverhill, Mass.) opened up the first double digit lead of the day at 43-33, Gulls. Curry cut the lead in half thanks to a pair of baskets from Irwin and Perine, but Endicott kept the Colonels at bay with a layup by Putnam and a pair of Pratt free throws. Putnam would be unsuccessful on an attempt at her third straight score in the waning seconds of the quarter, as her layup could not find its mark as the quarter came to a close. Despite the miss, Endicott stayed up, taking a 47-40 lead to the final period. The close quarter translated to the stat sheet in the third, as both teams converted four points off of turnovers as well as a pair of second chance points, but Endicott's eight points in the paint compared to Curry's six were enough to extend the lead.

Perine found the charity stripe and split her shots to first find the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, with the Colonels trailing now 47-41. The Gulls jumped all over poor shooting however, stretching their lead to 53-42 off of a Lipscomb layup as the Colonels missed eight shots over a five minute drought, aided only by another Perine free throw. With 4:21 remaining in regulation, Irwin found the scoreboard again, putting in a layup, but a matching score by Lexi Gellerman (West Hartford, Conn.) for the Gulls kept the lead at 11. The Colonels continued to see good looks fail to fall, shooting just 13.3% from the field in the final quarter, while also being hindered by the fifth personal foul being called on key defensive player Sam Bamford (Easton, Mass.), leaving the hosts without the junior for the final two minutes of the contest. Pratt and Putnam would combine to go seven for eight from the free throw line over the final two minutes, keeping the clock ticking away from Curry, as Endicott capped the Colonels' win streak at four, heading back to Beverly with a 62-52 win.

Each team boasted a pair of double-digit scorers, as Pratt finished with 21 and Putnam posted 22 for the guests. Curry received 16 points from the senior captain Irwin, while Perine registered a season high 25. Irwin and Perine also recorded 11 rebounds apiece to lead the team and each pick up a double-double. Irwin also split team-high honors in assists, as she and Bamford each put up a pair of helpers, while Plunkett posted two blocks. Lipscomb topped Endicott with three assists while Rogers pulled down 10 boards, nine of them defensive.

Curry will play next on Wednesday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine as they continue their CCC schedule in a rematch of a January 10 match up which saw Curry top the Nor'easters 63-54. Endicott will also continue league play as they travel to face Salve Regina, also on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., as they attempt to avenge a 62-61 loss to the Seahawks from earlier this month.

For the latest on Curry Athletics, follow the Colonels via social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.