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Women’s Basketball Surges Past FDU-Florham, 82-62, in Home Opener

Casey Walsh

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Junior Casey Walsh (Phoenix, Pa.) came close to putting together a triple-double as the Connecticut College women's basketball team won its home opener, 82-62, over shorthanded FDU-Florham on Tuesday evening at the Charles B. Luce Field House.

Connecticut College began the game with a 1-0 advantage before the opening tip due to an administrative technical foul called on FDU-Florham because the team failed to submit its starters to the scorebook in time. Senior co-captain Sami Ashton (Clinton, Conn.) sank the second of two free throws to immediately put the Camels ahead.

FDU-Florham (1-5), which only suited up six players, then won the opening tip and built up a double-digit lead in the first quarter when Cayla Staggers drilled a 3-pointer to make it 20-10 at the 2:59 mark. The Devils held a 20-15 advantage after the opening frame.

Despite the slow start, the Camels chipped away at the deficit in the second quarter with a deep bench to utilize and took their first lead since the beginning of the game when sophomore Audrey Shaev (Scarsdale, N.Y.) canned a trifecta to create a 32-30 score with 2:31 on the clock. Walsh built the margin up to five by hitting a jumper outside the paint, and the hosts clinged to a one-point advantage at recess.

Six of the game's eight lead changes occurred in the third quarter, but it was the Camels who emerged on top through 30 minutes of play. With fatigue arguably starting to set in with the Devils, the hosts were able to end the frame on a 10-3 run. Sophomore Claire Gulbin (Wilton, Conn.) started the run by making a 3-pointer and found classmate Emily O'Sullivan (North Readig, Mass.) for a layup in the closing seconds.

Connecticut College, which led by a 57-49 score after the third quarter, broke loose to outscore the visitors by 12 points in the fourth. O'Sullivan caught fire and scored 13 points by shooting 5-of-6 from the field, including 1-of-2 from long distance, and a perfect 2-of-2 at the line to lead the surge that ended with a turnaround jumper by senior captain Jill Nee (Dorchester, Mass.)  

Walsh tallied 10 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the way for the Camels. Ashton netted 17 points and dished out five assists, while O'Sullivan scored a career-high 19 points. Senior Dana Muckstadt (Dover, Mass.) grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots.

FDU-Florham was paced by Neveah Suutton, who finished the game with 16 points, five steals, five rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots. Staggers netted 17 points, and Jayda Bing contributed 13 points along with eight boards.

Connecticut College (3-2) will remain at home to face Eastern Connecticut State on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.