Women's Basketball: Second-Quarter Onslaught Sparks Warriors' Sixth Straight Win

REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Kelsey Santagata (44), who drew a crowd when the Warriors defeated Plymouth State Dec. 9 at Geissler Gym, turned in near-identical numbers in the Warriors' 72-55 Little East Conference win over Plymouth Saturday. Santagata had 16 points, ten rebounds and three assists Saturday after totalling 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists against the Panthers in the first meeting of the year. (Photo by Nick McEnany)
REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Kelsey Santagata (44), who drew a crowd when the Warriors defeated Plymouth State Dec. 9 at Geissler Gym, turned in near-identical numbers in the Warriors' 72-55 Little East Conference win over Plymouth Saturday. Santagata had 16 points, ten rebounds and three assists Saturday after totalling 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists against the Panthers in the first meeting of the year. (Photo by Nick McEnany)

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore forward Mya Villard (Cromwell) scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in Eastern Connecticut State University's 25-point second quarter as the Warriors rolled to their sixth straight win, a 72-55 Little East Conference decision over Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium.

En route to its fourth straight LEC victory, Eastern (9-10, 6-3 LEC) opened up a three-game lead in the race for fourth place and a first-round LEC tournament home game, with five conference games remaining in the regular season. Eastern is 29-1 against Plymouth (5-14, 1-8 LEC) in the last 30 meetings between the programs.

Villard scored more than half of Eastern's 25 second-quarter points as the Warriors outscored Plymouth by 16 points in the quarter to move out to a 20-point, 44-24 halftime lead. The Warriors shot 64 percent in the first half and outscored the Panthers 18-6 off turnovers over the first 20 minutes in evening its road record at 5-5 this year.

Villard connected on 15 of 17 shots in the game, sinking seven of eight field goals and eight of nine free throws. She is shooting 52.7 percent from the floor this year and is 29-of-36 (80.6) from the stripe over the last six games.

Eastern junior forward Kelsey Santagata (Stamford) posted her first double-double since Dec. 2 with 16 points and a game-high ten rebounds. She also had four steals and three assists. Sophomore guard Sabrina LeMere (North Branford) chipped in 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. Five-foot-three inch sophomore guard Julie Jordan (Sterling), second on the team to Villard in rebounding, had eight points and six rebounds and senior guard Kelly Reardon (Holyoke, MA) handed out seven assists, upping her average in the last six games to 6.3.

Since moving into the starting lineup over the last ten games in place of injured sophomore guard Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire), LeMere is averaging 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists and is shooting 44.7 percent from the floor.

Jess Conant had 14 points for Plymouth, which has lost its last five.

Eastern visits Connecticut College Tuesday at 7 p.m. in its final regular-season non-conference game.