WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Six-foot freshman forward Anna Barry (Andover) came off the bench for 12 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots in the second half as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team erased a 14-point first-half lead in a 52-48 Little East Conference victory over Rhode Island College Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Eastern (10-6, 6-3 LEC) trailed by 14 points with three minutes left in the first half and by eight at halftime, but behind Barry, shot 52 percent in the second half and went on to defeat Rhode Island (11-6, 4-5 LEC) and sweep the season series for the third straight year and extend its winning streak against the Anchorwomen to seven.
Barry was 6-of-7 from the floor in the second half and finished the game with career-highs in points (14) and rebounds (9) to go along with four blocks and two assists. She converted seven of nine field goals in the game and now has 19 blocked shots in an average of ten minutes per game this year.
The Warriors led for less than five minutes in the entire game and had a three-point deficit entering the final ten minutes. Down by six in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Eastern finally took its first lead with five minutes left on a short jumper by junior forward Mya Villard (Cromwell). Rhode Island two chances to tie or go ahead in the final minutes but missed two shots. Villard hauled down the rebound of the second miss with 18 seconds left, and junior guard Julie Jordan (Sterling) sank two free throws with 15.5 seconds left to make it 52-48.
The Anchorwomen, who had won seven of nine games away from home entering play, surrendered only seven points off 13 turnovers in the game, but failed on all 16 of their shots from beyond the arc.
Villard followed Barry with 13 points and nine rebounds and freshman guard Jenna Serrantino (Cromwell) came off the bench for nine points in a career-high 33 minutes.
Sophomore guard Sophia Guerrier (Waltham, MA) sparked RIC to an eight-point halftime lead by coming off the bench for eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, and Anchorwomen's considerable height advantage helped them to a +7 edge in rebounds. After connecting on 9-of-17 shots that gave it a game-high 18 second-quarter points, Rhode Island missed 24 of 33 shots in the second half (27.3 percent).
In 32 minutes off the bench Guerrier shared team-high scoring honors with junior forward Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, RI), both totaling 12 points. Six-foot-one inch freshman forward Willcia McBorrough (Providence, RI) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for the visitors.
Eastern hosts Connecticut college in a non-conference game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.