BIDDEFORD — Junior forward Kelly Coleman and first-year center Alicia Brown each posted double-doubles to power top-seeded University of New England to a 58-43 victory over eighth-seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology in a Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship quarterfinal-round game Tuesday evening at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The Nor’easters (24-2) advance to host No. 4 Salve Regina University, a 56-49 winner over Curry College. The fourth-seeded Seahawks and UNE will tip-off at 7 p.m in one semifinal, while No. 2 Roger Williams University hosts No. 3 Endicott on the other side of the bracket.

After being shut out in the opening half, Coleman scored 12 points after intermission to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career. Coleman knocked down a pair of free throws with 3:43 remaining to become the 22nd player in the history of the UNE women’s basketball program to reach the milestone. She finished with 11 rebounds to post her seventh double-double of the year and 16th of her career.

Brown offered one of the strongest performances of her rookie season, leading all scorers with 15 points while adding 11 boards and three blocked shots. She was 6-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the free throw line.

Sophomore guard Sadie DiPierro scored 10 points for UNE, and classmate Lauren Hayden contributed seven points, six assists and six steals. Hayden, who was named CCC Defensive Player of the Year earlier in the day, continues to lead all of NCAA III in steals per game.

Senior forward Ashley Stowe led three Wentworth players in double figures with 13 points. She was 7 of 8 at the line and added six rebounds. Senior Kendra Kerr closed out her season with 11 points and a team-high 10 caroms, while sophomore guard Rachael Camara chipped in 10 points.

After Stowe buried a jumper to get the Leopards on the scoreboard first, Brown made back-to-back jump shots in the paint to put the Nor’easters on top for good. UNE would lead 15-7 at the 13:14 mark before its offense sputtered a bit.

Wentworth cuts its deficit to four four separate times the rest of the way before the Nor’easters took a 26-20 advantage into the break. Brown had eight points and eight rebounds over the opening 20 minutes to help Big Blue build its lead.

The Nor’easters started the second frame with a 7-0 run to build a double-digit lead. Brown converted down low, then Coleman got on the scoreboard with a layup. DiPierro followed with 1 of 2 free throws, and Brown capped the spurt with a pair of freebies to give UNE a 33-20 bulge three minutes into the half.

The Leopards would get no closer than nine the rest of the way. Big Blue took its largest lead (18, 57-39) of the evening with 2:48 remaining before settling for the final margin of 15 (58-43).

UNE shot just 32.8 percent (20 of 61) for the contest but held a 43-34 lead in the rebounding department and forced 22 WIT turnovers. Big Blue also made 17 of 19 at the charity stripe (89.5 percent).

The Nor’easters will take a 12-game win streak into Thursday’s semifinal at the Alfond Forum, where they have won 27 consecutive games and are 29-1 all-time.

Wentworth closes its season with a mark of 8-17.



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