Willimantic, CT (11/20/11) - Tournament MVP Piper Chapman scored six points in a crucial 9-1 run late in the game that helped carry the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team to its 17th Eastern Tip-Off Tournament title Sunday afternoon in a 75-68 victory over Montclair State University at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Eastern (2-0) scored 12 straight points late in the first half to build a seven-point halftime lead, but could not shake Montclair (2-1), who closed to within three points four times in the second half. With Eastern holding a 54-51 lead with eight minutes left, Chapman scored an inside basket on an assist from Kristina Forsman to spark the 9-1 run that accounted for a 12-point, 65-53 lead with five minutes left.
With Eastern leading by eight, Chapman gave Eastern its first double-digit lead with an inside basket and after a steal by freshman Shannon McCourt, Chapman sank a jumper in the paint on a pass from freshman Taylor McBridge to give Eastern its largest lead at 65-53.
In the title game, Kelleher posted her second tournament double-double with career-highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds, with Blodgett sinking 18 points (7-for-11 from the floor) and Chapman scoring 12 points (ten in the second half) and grabbing ten rebounds.
Montclair freshman Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ / Roselle Catholic) had 23 points and eight rebounds in the title game and finished the tournament with the most points (48) of any player. She also added eight rebounds in each tournament game and was 58.6 percent from the floor and 14 of 19 from the foul line in the tourney. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown), who recorded 27 tournament points, six steals and six rebounds and was 8-for-8 from the foul line.
Senior Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) had 13 points and five rebounds for MSU.
Rounding out the all-tournament team was Regis College’s (MA) Claire Ramonas. Ramonas led Regis (1-1) to third place with a 90-48 triumph over Johnson State College in the consolation game Sunday afternoon. Ramonas led all players in the third-place game with 19 points and topped the Pride with six rebounds. She was 8-for-13 from the floor against Johnson State (1-2) to lead four double-digit scorers. Brittany Robertson led the Badgers with 16 points, four assists and four steals.
In two tournament games, Chapman had 45 points and 13 rebounds, shot 68.0 percent from the floor and was 11-for-11 from the foul line. In Saturday’s 117-43 first-round win over Johnson State, Chapman tied the tournament record with a career-high 33 points on 14-for-18 shooting from the floor and 5-for-5 marksmanship from the stripe.
Lauren Kelleher and Jessica Blodget joined Chapman on the all-tournament team from Eastern. Kelleher had 42 points and a team-high 27 rebounds in two contests, shot 59.1 percent from the floor and was 16-for-20 from the stripe. Blodgett contributed 30 points on 54.5 percent shooting from the floor (4-for-4 from three-point range).
The Red Hawks are back home on Tuesday, November 22 as they face Mount St. Mary (NY) at the Panzer Athletic Center. Tip off is slated for 8:00 pm.