The Plymouth State College women's basketball team completed its best regular season in five years Saturday with an 79-45 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers complete the regular season under second-year head coach Lauren Lavigne with a 17-7 overall record, and an 8-6 LEC mark. It is the program's best record since the 1994-95 unit went to the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 21-7 standard.
Plymouth State also finishes in fifth place in the Little East, and will face fourth-seeded Keene State (15-9, 9-5) in the opening round of the conference tournament Tuesday (Feb. 22) night in Keene. The winner advances to the LEC semi-finals next weekend (Feb. 25) at regular season champion Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. The LEC championship game is Saturday at 1 p.m. at WCSU, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The loss drops UMD's records to 8-16 overall and 4-10 in the LEC. The Corsairs will be the seventh seed in next week's LEC Tournament, and will travel Tuesday to battle second seeded Eastern Connecticut.
PSC never trailed in Saturday's contest, building a 10-point lead midway through the first half and never looking back. It was a 20-point margin with four minutes left in the first half, and a 23-point difference (44-21) at the break. The Panthers cruised to the win in the second half, leading by as much as 40 with two minutes to play (79-39).
Senior guard Courtney Jacques (Belmont, NH) led the way for PSC in the final home game of her career, scoring 17 points and adding five rebounds, six assists and seven steals. Freshman Courtney Albert (Hudson, NH) added 11 points as the only other Panther to reach double figures in the scoring department.
UMD was led by junior Kate Douglas (Sharon, MA), who scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Senior Natarsha Silva (Brockton, MA) contributed 10 points.
Plymouth State turned in a strong shooting performance, connecting on 50 percent from the field (29-of-58) and 50 percent from three-point range (5-of-10). A tough PSC defense held UMD to a 29.2 shooting percentage, while the Panthers outrebounded the Corsairs 45-38.
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