DANBURY, CT - Sophomore guard Genesis Torres (Stratford, CT) was named Most Valuable Player after connecting on two crucial three pointers down the stretch of the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball's 75-71 victory over Maine Maritime Academy in the championship game of the Hat City Tournament at Feldman Arena on Saturday night.
Torres finished with just seven points, but six of those came in the final 2:06 on a pair of clutch three pointers. She also grabbed five rebounds and had three steals for the 7-4 Colonials. In the opening round on Friday, Torres scored 15 points, had nine rebounds, seven assists and seven steals in WestConn's 118-68 victory over Newbury College.
"We are learning everyday how to improve on our new approach this season and to get a victory against a quality team like Maine Maritime can only help the process," said WestConn head coach Kimberley Rybczyk.
On Saturday, the Colonials fell behind the Mariners, 4-0 in the early going, but scored 19 of the next 23 points of the first quarter to take an 11-point advantage, 19-8 on a three pointer from Frances Snyder (Pine Plains, NY).
MMA cut its deficit to three points, 33-30, following a pair of free throws from Mikayla Charters (Newport, ME) with 29 seconds remaining before intermission. She finished with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for the visitors.
Leads changed hands and the game was tied six times each over the final 11:24 of the game.
WestConn tooks a seven-point advantage, 67-60, following a pair of freebies from Snyder with 4:06 left in the game. Snyder finished with eight points.
The Mariners drew within a point, 70-69, following two free throws from Chloe Smedley (York, ME) with 48 ticks remaining.
The Colonials scored five straight before Smedley closed out the scoring with a runner in the lane in the final seconds.
Alayne Felix (Searsport, ME) led MMA with 18 points and 11 rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Joining Felix on the award's podium was WestConn's Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, NY), Newbury College's Destiny Spears (Arnold, MD) and Trinity's Erin Cunningham (Wilton, CT).
Sherwood finished with a team-high 18 points and continues to be among the nation's scoring leaders at 23.3 points per game.
In the Consolation Game, Trinity College, now 7-3, outlasted the Nighthawks and went on to prevail, 77-60.
Erica Junquet (Monroe, NJ) led the Bantams with 19 points to go along with nine rebounds. Cunningham finished with eight points and pulled down a game-high 12 boards.
Spears played every minute on Saturday and finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for Newbury. Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, MI) and Tatianna Occena (Spring Valley, NY) contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively for the Nighthawks, now 5-6.
No rest for the weary as the Colonials host Manhattanville College on New Year's Day. Tip-off is slated for 2 pm at the ONC.