SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Tied at the half, the Suffolk women's basketball team battled Western New England in the ECAC New England Championship semifinals, but the No. 3 seed Rams could not overcome a third quarter scoring frenzy by the second-seeded Golden Bears, falling, 70-60, inside the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
Suffolk closes its season 17-11 overall, its highest win total since going 23-8 in 2012-13. WNE, who improved to 19-10, will compete against No. 1 Keene State in the championship contest at 1 p.m.
Chelsea Campellone closed out her campaign with her sixth 20-point performance this season as the senior registered 22 points on a 10-of-16 performance from the floor. The 5-foot-8 forward was on the verge of her 14th double-double, but missed the mark by one board, pulling down a game-high nine. Classmate Alessandra Quadri also capped off her career, matching Campellone's rebounding and added five points. Georgia Bourikas also record double-figures with the junior tallying 11 all in the second half.
WNE saw four of its starters with double figures led by Dorothy O'Neill's 17-point, seven-rebound effort.
The game played to the tune of runs over the first 10 minutes with WNE starting things off, scoring seven unanswered points. Suffolk responded with five quick points of its own, but the Golden Bears rattled off back-to-back buckets from deep to make things 13-5 in the host's favor. Campellone ended the spurt with her second hoop of the day and push the score to 13-7 at the end of one.
The tides turned in Suffolk's favor in the second stanza.Hoops were traded at both ends of the hardwood over the first seven minutes.With just under 2:30 on the clock before intermission and Suffolk trailing 28-20, Campellone sparked an 8-0 run for the Rams to close the half and send the teams into the locker rooms tied 28-all.
Suffolk had just one more possession than WNE over the first 20 minutes, which saw both team shoot just over 30 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes with Suffolk holding a slim edge over WNE (33.3-31.3). The Golden Bears used its 41.7 connection rate from 3-point range and 75.0 clip at the free throw line to hold the lead for 18:44, but the Rams rallied behind Campellone's 16 points and 63.6 percentage from the field to gain momentum heading into the second half.
The Golden Bears roared in the third, outscoring the Rams, 25-16, to hold a commanding 53-44 edge heading into the final frame. Bourikas turned up the volume for the visitors, rattling off five quick points to cut the deficit to five early. WNE upped its advantage, however, jumping back out to double digits, 59-49, before Suffolk's guards - Alexandra Nagri, Bourikas, and Kelsey Schiebel - hit from outside to bring it back to a two possession game, 62-57.
From there Suffolk put on the pressure and the Golden Bears handled it easily to cap Suffolk's season for good and advance to the championship with a 70-60 win.