DANBURY, CT - With a pair of key players out of the lineup due to injury and illness, the Western Connecticut women's basketball team rolled to an 80-44 non-league victory over the visiting College of New Rochelle on Wednesday night at Feldman Arena. Junior guard Kaitlyn LaBonte (South Windsor, CT) paced the Colonials with a game-high 28 points, while rookie guard Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, CT) chipped in with 14.
The hosts attacked the glass throughout the contest as senior forward Alecia Dulaire (Bloomfield, CT) tallied a game-high 14 rebounds, while rookie guard Genesis Torres (Stratford, CT) pulled down 11. Colonial senior guard Samantha Smith (Wallingford, CT) played a solid all-around game, finishing with seven points while dishing out a game-high five assists. Rookie forward Ashley Martin (Richmond Hills, NY) led New Rochelle with a double-double on 15 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Dar'Neisha Brice (Maryland) and junior Chelsea Thomas (Bronx, NY) each netted nine points.
"We just tried to work on being fundamentally sound tonight. It was a great opportunity to get all of our players involved out on the floor," said Western head coach Kimberley Rybczyk. The Colonials jumped out to a 20-13 lead to end the opening quarter. LaBonte drained three of her game-high five trifectas during the run.
Hurlbert would sink a pair from the line to extend the advantage to 40-24 at halftime. The gap ballooned to 60-34 in the third when LaBonte connected on a fastbreak layup off a nifty feed from Smith. It was all Western in the final period as junior forward Nicole Mierzejewski (Meriden, CT) and freshman Kathiana Monestime (Somerville, MA) nailed the final two hoops to round the count out at 80-44.
With the victory, the Colonials notched their third straight 30-plus point win, improving to 13-7 overall while the Blue Angels dropped to 9-7. Western returns to action when they host LEC foe UMass-Dartmouth for Senior Day on Saturday at 1 p.m.