The Rhode Island College Anchorwomen Basketball team’s historic run in the National Collegiate Athletic Association D-III National Tournament came to an end Saturday.
The Anchorwomen opened the NCAA Tournament defeating Rowan College by a final score of 67-59. RIC faced a tough test after Rowan with No. 3 Scranton College, but the Anchorwomen upset the Royals 62-55. The Anchorwomen then moved onto the Sweet Sixteen, where they faced and beat No. 10 University of Chicago by a final of 64-56. RIC then advanced to the Elite Eight with the win and faced No. 13 Babson. The Anchorwomen then disposed of the Beavers 60-47, advancing to the Final Four.
The Anchorwomen entered the Final Four, set to battle No. 1 Christopher Newport University. The Anchorwomen were the only unranked team to make it to the Final Four, as No. 4 Smith College, No. 2 Transylvania University and Christopher Newport were all ranked in the top four.
RIC entered the game against undefeated Christopher Newport, and showed they were not to be taken lightly. The Anchorwomen opened this game with eight straight points, and held an 11-3 lead halfway through the first quarter. A slow last five minutes of the quarter saw the Captains go on a 10-0 run and take a 13-11 lead into the second quarter.
Christopher Newport was the first to score in the second quarter to push the lead to four, but an Angelina Nardolillo 3-pointer and jumper gave the Anchorwomen the lead. The Anchorwomen slowly built upon their lead, before an Antonia Corsinetti buzzer-beating, 3-pointer pushed RIC’s lead to eight and had the gym rocking. RIC took a 28-20 lead into halftime. Nardolillo led the Anchorwomen in scoring with 10, while grabbing five rebounds. Corsinetti added nine points and Izabelle Booth shared the team-high in rebounds with five.
The Anchorwomen opened the third quarter with two straight buckets from Booth, pushing the lead to 12. The quarter was back and forth, as Christopher Newport cut the lead to as few as two points. The Anchorwomen, however, were able to push their lead back to a five point difference before the fourth quarter.
RIC opened the fourth quarter with a 43-38 lead, but Christopher Newport showed why they were the number one team in the country. An 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter allowed the Captains to grab their first lead since the eight minute mark of the second quarter.
The Anchorwomen would cut their lead to a single point with 20 seconds left, thanks to a Nardoillo basket and free throw. RIC fouled and Christopher Newport sank both free-throws to push the lead back to three. RIC had an opportunity to tie the game, but a three-pointer just missed and Christoper Newport grabbed the rebound, securing their win. RIC fell to Christopher Newport by a final of 56-51. The Anchorwomen were led in scoring by Nardolillo, who finished with 12 points. Booth added 10 points and Corsinetti nine. Booth led the Anchorwomen in rebounds with eight.
The Anchorwomen finished the season Co-Regular Season Champions of the Little East Conference, LEC Tournament Champions and with a final record of 28 wins and four losses.