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PSC upsets LEC-leading Southern Maine

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Krystyna Zagorski (Matawan, N.J.) and junior Brooke Randall (Harrisville, R.I.) scored 18 points apiece Tuesday night to lead the Plymouth State College women's basketball team to a 79-75 upset victory over Little East Conference leading University of Southern Maine at Foley Gymnasium.

The victory, PSC's sixth straight overall and 16th in a row at home dating back to last season, improves the Panthers to 16-6 overall and 9-4 in conference play, and clinches home court advantage in the first round of the LEC Tournament next Tuesday. Southern Maine drops to 17-6 overall and 11-2 in the conference, and falls into a tie for first place with Eastern Connecticut, which defeated Keene State Tuesday.

Randall came off the bench to toss in a career-high 18 points, hitting eight of her 10 field goal attempts. It is the first double-figure scoring performance of her career. Zagorski, playing her final regular season home game, connected on 7-of-14 shot attempts for 18 points while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.

Senior Kate Fillion (Littleton, N.H.), also playing her final regular season home game, tossed in four three-pointers for PSC and finished with 12 points, and sophomores Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.) and Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) added 13 and 11 points, respectively, with Pelletier collecting a career-high 13 assists.

The Huskies were led by senior guard Erin Shaw (Hancock, Maine) and sophomore center Kara Crockett (Glenburn, Maine). Shaw led all scorers with 23 points, thanks in part to five three-point field goals, while Crockett registered 17 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. Sophomore Jess Libby (Orono, Maine) and freshman Megan Cressler (Appleton, Maine) also chipped in with 10 points apiece.

The Panthers came out on fire, racing to a 24-4 lead in the first eight minutes of the game. The Huskies responded with a 17-2 run to pull to within five points (26-21) with 7:57 to go in the first half. The teams traded baskets and PSC held on for a 39-33 lead at the intermission.

Southern Maine took its first lead of the night (50-47) on a Shaw three-pointer with 14:30 remaining, but Randall kept the Panthers in the game with 11 of her 18 points coming in the second half. There were seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes, but PSC took the lead for good (72-71) with 4:43 to play.

A lay-up by Randall and a three-pointer by Fillion gave PSC a six-point lead with 3:43 left, and USM got no closer than four points down the stretch.

PSC plays a non-conference game Thursday (Feb. 15) at Eastern Nazarene (6:00 p.m.) before wrapping up the regular season Saturday (Feb. 17) at UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.). Southern Maine concludes its regular season Saturday at Western Connecticut (1:00 p.m.)