Prusko Scores a Career-High 20 as Anchorwomen Clinch Outright Little East Regular Season Title
Senior guard Stephanie Prusko
Providence, R.I. – Senior guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, R.I.) poured in a career-high 20 points, while sophomore forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, R.I.) added 13 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five steals, to lead the Rhode Island College women’s basketball team past Plymouth State, 70-33, on Saturday afternoon at The Murray Center in Little East Conference action.
With the win in Saturday’s regular season finale, Rhode Island College (17-8, 11-3 LEC) clinches the second outright Little East Conference Regular Season Championship in the program’s history and seals the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 2014 Little East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Anchorwomen will host No. 8 Plymouth State (2-21, 1-13 LEC) on Tuesday, Feb. 25 (5:30 p.m.) at The Murray Center in first round action.
Prusko drained four three-pointers on the afternoon and chipped in with two rebounds and two assists, while senior forward Cara Paladino (Arlington, Mass.) racked up 17 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the final regular season home game the duo. Both Paladino and Prusko were honored prior to the game as part of Senior Day 2014.
Sophomore guard Danielle LeBlanc (Warwick, R.I.) recorded 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals for RIC, while senior freshman forward Christian McDuffy (Brockton, Mass.) corralled 12 rebounds off the bench and added four points and two blocks.
The Anchorwomen were dominant on the glass, outrebounding Plymouth State, 46-16, in the win. RIC also gathered a total of 18 offensive rebounds as a team.
The Panthers were led by freshman guard DeAsia Lawrence (Middletown, R.I.), who finished with a team-high 13 points in the loss, while sophomore guard Taylor Perry (Simsbury, Conn.) posted six points and two assists. Junior forward Tiffany Lewis (Hillsboro, N.H.) registered five points and four rebounds.
PSU managed to jump out to an early, 8-4, lead over the Anchorwomen with 17:30 on the clock in the first half following a jumper from Lewis, but watched as RIC responded with three straight buckets to make it, 10-8, at the 15:01 mark. The Panthers briefly rallied to force a 12-12 tie with 13:34 left to play in the half after a basket from Lawrence, but the hosts surged ahead of the visitors with eight straight points to make it, 20-12, at the 11:06 mark.
Senior guard Krystin Corliss (Barnstead, N.H.) connected on a layup with 10:45 left to play in the first half to pull the Panthers within six, but the Anchorwomen eventually stormed ahead of PSU behind a 20-5 run to close out the frame, en route to the 21-point halftime lead. RIC went on to outscore the Panthers, 30-14, in the second half to account for the 37-point margin.
Rhode Island College handed out 18 assists as a squad and shot at a cool 48 percent (28-for-58) from the field on the afternoon, while shooting 40 percent (4-for-10) from beyond the three-point arc and 77 percent (10-for-13) from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Plymouth State was held to just a 32 percent (13-for-41) shooting effort from the floor, while shooting 30 percent (3-for-10) from downtown and 50 percent (4-for-8) from the charity stripe.
RIC forced PSU into 21 turnovers, while coughing it up just 17 times on the other end. The Anchorwomen also held a significant advantage in hustle stats, as the hosts swiped 11 steals and blocked five shots in the victory.