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Women’s Basketball Punches NESCAC Tournament Ticket With 67-65 Triumph Over Colby

Sami Ashton

WATERVILLE, Maine – With playoff implications on the line, the Connecticut College women's basketball team punched its ticket to the upcoming NESCAC Tournament by earning a 67-65 victory over Colby on Saturday afternoon at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

With the Camels leading by a 57-54 margin, Sarah Hancock drained back-to-back 3-pointers to put Colby in the driver's seat with 5:24 remaining in regulation. Connecticut College, however, recovered and was able to pull out the victory despite failing to make a field goal in the last four minutes. After sophomore Casey Walsh (Phoenixville, Pa.) converted a 3-point play the old-fashioned way, seniors Kylie Caouette (Ashburnham, Mass.) and Margaret Corcoran (Milton, Mass.) as well as junior Sami Ashton combined to sink five shots from the charity stripe while the defense stood tall.

Colby (10-14, NESCAC 2-8) had the opportunity to win the game in the final seconds, but Ainsley Burns' layup attempt with two seconds left was no good. Corcoran grabbed the rebound and converted at the line on the other end to seal the final outcome.

Ashton propelled the Camels to a 22-21 lead after the opening quarter by scoring a jaw-dropping 15 points in the frame. The junior then sank two more early layups to push her team's advantage to 27-22, and the Mules were never able to move ahead in the frame. After Paige Russell sank a jumper to tie the score at 35s, Ashton fittingly closed out the scoring by going coast to coast to give the visitors a 37-35 edge at the break.

The teams then played a seesaw third quarter which featured six lead changes between the schools. Connecticut College, however, ended the frame ahead by a 52-51 score thanks to getting a pair of free throws from senior Julia Wanfried (Westfield, N.J.) and would ultimately prevail in the end by converting from the line once again.

Ashton led the way for Connecticut College, ending the game with 22 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Corcoran also eclipsed twin figures in scoring with 15 points to go along with eight boards and three blocks, while Caouette finished with eight points off the bench.

Colby was paced by Burns' 23-point effort. Sarah Hancock finished with 13 points and five rebounds in her final collegiate game, and classmate Jackie Albanese added eight points, four assists, and four rebounds.

Connecticut College (13-10, NESCAC 4-6) earned the eighth seed in the NESCAC Tournament and will travel back to top-ranked Bowdoin for a quarterfinal match at a time to be determined on Saturday, Feb. 16.