Hartford, Conn. – Senior forward Mya Villard (Cromwell, Conn.) had 22 points, sinking 12 of 13 attempts from the foul line, and six rebounds to lead the visiting Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors to a 77-67 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in the opening round of the Trinity College Women's Basketball Tip-Off Tournament at Oosting Gymnasium this evening. Trinity, which loses its season opener, will face the Montclair State University Red Hawks, who lost, 59-49, to the Springfield College Pride in the other first-round game tonight, in the consolation game tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Warriors improve to 2-0 and advance to the finals against the Pride tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Trinity came out strong and led, 12-5, with 1:38 left in the first quarter thanks to eight early points by first-year guard Bria Fuller (Springdale, Md.). The Bantams led, 12-9, after one quarter and extended their advantage to 24-17 on a jumper by senior tri-captain Peace Kabari (Manchester, N.H.) with just under four minutes remaining in the second frame. Eastern Connecticut closed the first half with a 15-8 run, tying the game for the first time at 32-all on a fastbreak layup by senior guard Sabrina LeMere (North Branford, Conn.).
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair with neither team taking more than a three-point lead. Trinity led, 51-48, with under a minute left after a steal and layup by sophomore Kaylen Campbell (Hillsborough, N.C.), but Eastern Connecticut tied it in the closing seconds of the quarter on a trey by sophomore guard Jenna Serrantino (Cromwell, Conn.). The Bantams held onto a 64-61 lead with 3:44 on the clock, after a bucket inside by sophomore center Elizabeth Althoff (Staten Island, N.Y.), but the Warriors scored 14 of the next 15 points to go ahead by double digits.
Kabari paced Trinity in scoring with 17 points to go with a team-high eight rebounds. Fuller finished with 15 points in her college debut, while sophomore forward Katie Kirsch (Pelham, N.H.) had 12 points and five boards, and Althoff collected eight points, five rebounds, three assists, and four blocked shots. Serrantino, senior guard Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire, Conn.), and LeMere joined Villard in double figures in scoring for the Warriors with 14, 12, and 10 points, respectively. Eastern Connecticut sophomore center Anna Barry (Andover, Conn.) added eight points, a game-high nine rebounds, and four blocks.
In the nightcap, the Pride held Montclair State to 33.3 percent shooting from the field to improve to 3-0. Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) had 11 points and five assists, while Rachel Vinton (Holden, Mass.) added scored 10 points for Springfield. Nicole Carter (Flemington, N.J.) scored 12 points and Kayla Bush (Morristown, N.J.) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the Red Hawks, who drop to 1-1.