Four Rhode Island College starters scored in double figures Tuesday night to lead the Anchorwomen's basketball team past Plymouth State College in the opening round of the Little East Conference Tournament.
RIC (17-8) advances to play top-seeded Southern Maine Friday night in Gorham, ME, at 8:00 p.m. The Panthers conclude their season with a record of 14-11.
Nicole Taylor led all scorers with 19 points and added six rebounds to pace the Anchorwomen. Sarah Kelly chipped in 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Courtney Jacques (Belmont, NH) led Plymouth State with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The game was a tale of two halves, as both teams struggled from the field for the first 20 minutes, but turned it around for the second half. The Rhode Island College defense held PSC to 20 first-half points and went into the half holding a seven point advantage, 27-20.
"We played great defensively in the first half," said first year head coach Lauren Lavigne. "We held a high-scoring offense to 27 points, but we just didn't run our offense. We weren't really clicking as a team."
In the second half, however, both teams improved their shooting. The Panthers shot .429 (18-42) from the floor, up from .182 in the first half. RIC shot a crisp .500 (13-26) after shooting just .286 in the opening frame.
The Anchorwomen also got strong performances from Jen Cook (12 points, 7 rebounds), MeLeah Hall (11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists) and Christine Martin (9 points, 6 rebounds).
For the Panthers, senior Rebecca Morse (Sterling, MA) and junior Lauren Santoli (Mansfield, MA) both scored in double figures, notching 12 and 10 respectively. Morse, in the final game of her career, added six rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Kate Fillion (Littleton, NH) connected from deep twice and classmate Krystyna Zagorski (Matawan, NJ) hit once, but in all the Panthers were just 3-21 from long range for the game.
"I can't believe it's over," said Lavigne. "It was one of my most enjoyable seasons ever. Everyone had a good time. It was nice to see them enjoy themselves, that's half of winning."
Lavigne wraps up her inaugural season with a record of 14-11, the program's most wins since the 1995-96 season when the Panthers finished 15-11. That season Lavigne was a graduate assistant coach under her predecessor, Marti Kingsley.
-- 30 --