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No. 3 Southern Maine, No. 5 Rhode Island College Advance to Women’s Basketball Semifinals

2019 women's basketball first round

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Third-seeded University of Southern Maine and fifth-seeded Rhode Island College advanced to the semifinal round of the 2019 Little East Conference Women's Basketball Championship Tournament following their First Round victories Tuesday night. The Huskies defeated sixth-seeded Castleton University 63-40, while the Anchorwomen upset fourth-seeded and defending LEC champion UMass Boston 66-44.

No. 3 Southern Maine 63, No. 6 Castleton 40 – Box Score 

The Huskies improved to 16-10 for the season with their third staright win, while the Saprtans season ended at 14-12. 

HOW IT HAPPENED: Southern Maine held a narrow 11-9 lead after the opening frame and was up 27-22 at the half before outscoring Castleton 14-4 in the third quarter to open a 15-point advantage heading into the fourth. The Huskies shot an efficient 52 percent (28-54) from the floor while holding the Spartans, who were making their LEC tournament debut, to 32 percent (16-50) shooting from the field.

SOUTHERN MAINE LEADERS: Junior guard Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) scored a game-high 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting while tallying seven assists, six rebounds and four steals, while senior guard Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Que.) totaled 11 points, five boards and three assists. Freshman center Victoria Harris (Altus, Okla.) also totaled 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting over just 14 minutes off the bench.

CASTLETON LEADERS: Sophomore guard Brooke Raiche (Ira, Vt.) matched Luckhardt's game-high 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor. Senior guard Abbie Lesure (Vernon, Vt.) was the Spartans' second-leading scorer with nine points. 

UP NEXT: The Huskies will take on second-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University in Friday's semifinal round at 7:30 p.m., which will be hosted by top-seeded UMass Dartmouth.  

No. 5 Rhode Island College 66, No. 4 UMass Boston 44 – Box Score

RIC improved to 18-8 with their fourth consectutive victory, while the Beacons' season ended at 17-9.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Anchorwomen gradually pulled away from the Beacons over the first three quarters, building a 45-33 before outscoring UMass Boston 21-11 in the final frame to secure their First Round win. RIC shot 40-percent (18-45) from the floor and was 77 percent (26-34) from the line, while the Beacons shot just 30 percent (16-53) from the field and 58 percent (7-12) from the stripe.

RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE LEADERS: Junior forward Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, R.I.) scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, and fell just one rebound shy of a double-double. Sophomore guard Brooke Young (West Warwick, R.I.) added 18 points while grabbing four rebounds, while fellow sophomore guard Sophia Guerrier (Waltham, Mass.) added 11 points.

UMASS BOSTON LEADERS: Sophomore guard Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) was the lone Beacon to score in double-figures with 10 points, while sophomore forward Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) had nine points and seven rebounds.

UP NEXT: The Anchorwomen will battle top-seeded UMass Dartmouth in Friday's semifinal round at 5 p.m.