Senior

Angelina Nardolillo, center, stands with her mother and sister while being honored during Senior Night in Hinsdale on Feb. 5.

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — During a women’s basketball game at Eastern Connecticut State University on Wednesday evening, the announcer had a hard time pronouncing Angelina Nardolillo’s last name.

And the home team had a hard time scoring over her.

The six-foot center changed a couple of shots and also played some tough post defense, helping Rhode Island College to a 71-45 victory over ECSU in a battle between the two unbeaten teams in Little East Conference play.

“It was an amazing statement game,” said Nardolillo, who finished with six points and three rebounds. “We held three players who normally combine to score 40-plus points to only nine combined. That’s our RIC defense.”

After a 20-minute delay due to the clock not working properly, the host Warriors stole a 14-3 lead. Mariah Dunn would later do a little lasso celebration to fire up the home crowd following a hoop and harm.

“At first we were down and the fan section was really loud, then once we started coming back they were really quiet and (eventually) silent after halftime,” Nardolillo explained.

RIC hit four trifectas to draw even at 25-25 and four more to pull away. The visitors put it out of reach with an 11-0 run to begin the fourth quarter.

Nardolillo — pronounced several different ways throughout the night — scored on a pair of post moves and also swished a pretty half-hook. She used her length to force missed shots by Jaclyn Santella and Jenna Serrantino at the other end of the floor.

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“The best things about being on the team are the unity and the family atmosphere,” noted the RIC freshman. “My team is full of girls who love the game.”

She was often going up against ECSU senior Aiyana Ward, who carried her high school team to the Connecticut state finals in 2018.

Nardolillo helped Hinsdale High School win Division 4 titles as a freshman and senior. As a sophomore, the rising star scored 22 points for the Lady Pacers in a home playoff game to become the 13th player in school history to reach a grand.

Taking her talents to Rhode Island is looking like a great decision.

“I’m super glad I made the choice of RIC,” she said. “No matter what year you are, freshman or senior, everyone is treated the same. There is a huge role of respect that we all give each other.”

Nardolillo is leading her team in scoring at 11.0 points per contest. She has twice been named the LEC Rookie of the Week.

“Practices tend to be super competitive because we all push each other to be the best,” the first-year center pointed out.

The 9-4 Anchorwomen will host Emerson College (3-8) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or 802-254-2311 X163. On Twitter: @ShaneCovey.