DANBURY, Conn. – Senior guard Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, N.Y.) scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team to a 92-78 victory over visiting Bridgewater State University in the semifinal round of the Hat City Tournament on Saturday evening at Feldman Arena.
The host Colonials improve to 5-5 on the season and advance to the tournament championship game on Sunday afternoon at four against either Oneonta State or William Paterson. The Bears fall to 3-7 and will play in the tournament consolation game on Sunday at two.
Junior guard Genesis Torres (Stratford, Conn.) added 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals for Western Connecticut, while sophomore forward Asiah Knight (Norwalk, Conn.) tallied 13 points, seven boards and seven steals. Junior guard Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, Conn.) checked in with ten points and six caroms in 19 minutes off the bench.
Senior guard Olivia DelGrosso (Ledyard, Conn.) paced Bridgewater State with a career-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore forward Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) added 15 points, seven boards, two assists and two steals on 23 minutes off the bench, while freshman guard Olivia Dziadyk (Wakefield, Mass.) notched ten points, three rebounds and a career and game-best six assists
A 9-0 run by Western Connecticut out of the gate was answered by a 9-0 Bridgewater State run. DelGrosso scored seven of the Bears' first nine points including a three-pointer. With the score knotted at 13-13 with 5 ½ minutes left to play in the first quarter, the Colonials outscored the Bears 14-3 over the next five minutes to open up an 11-point advantage (27-16) with 24 seconds remaining. Five different players scored during the run for the Colonials including five points from Sherwood. The Bears scored the scored the final four points of the period on a DelGrosso jumper and a pair of free throws from senior guard Danielle Arcidiacono (Bellingham, Mass.) to make it a seven-point game (27-20) at the end of one.
A 9-2 during a two-minute stretch of the second quarter helped the Colonials open up a 13-point lead (44-31) with 3:47 remaining. Four different players scored during the spurt. A three-pointer by Dziadyk followed by a Maggie Hester (Braintree, Mass.) layup pulled the Bears to within eight (44-36). West Conn would ultimately take a 48-38 lead into the break.
DelGrosso scored 14 points in the first half to lead all players. All 14 of her points came in the first quarter. Hurlbert, Torres and Sherwood tallied eight points apiece to pace the Colonials over the first 20 minutes.
The Bears shot 50% (16-32) from the floor in the first half but just 3-for-11 (27%) from behind the arc and 3-for-6 at the free throw line. The Colonials shot 46% (16-35) from the floor, 31% (5-16), from three-point range and 79% (11-14) at the charity stripe. The two teams combined for 36 turnovers over the first two quarters with Bridgewater committing 20 of those miscues.
West Conn outscored Bridgewater State 29-16 in the third quarter, including the final eight points of period, as the Colonials opened up a 23-point lead (77-54). West Conn got up by as many as 25 points (86-61) in the fourth quarter before an 11-2 BSU run pulled the Bears to within 16 (88-72) with 3:15 left to play. A Samantha Garcia (Highland, N.Y.) three-pointer ended the run and pushed the Colonial lead back to 19 (91-72) with 2:41 remaining. The final score of 92-78 would be as close as the Bears would get the rest of the way.
West Conn shot 43% (31-72) for the game and 32% (12-37) from three-point land. The Colonials also converted 18 of 25 (72%) free throw attempts. Bridgewater State connected on 49% (33-67) of its field goals attempts but went just 5-for-18 (28%) from behind the arc and 7-for-12 (58%) at the charity stripe. The two teams combined to turn the ball over 50 times (BSU 34, WCSU 26).