AMHERST, Mass. - Senior co-captain Amy Barao (Norwell, MA) scored a game-high 22 points Saturday to lead second-seeded Wellesley College to a 73-62 victory over third-seeded Plymouth State College in the ECAC New England Women's Basketball Tournament semifinals at Amherst College.
The Blue, 22-4, advance to Sunday's 2 p.m. championship game against fifth-seeded Colby College, who upset top seed Amherst in the first semi-final Saturday, 80-64.
Plymouth State, which registered back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history, completes the campaign at 20-8 overall under third-year head coach Lauren Lavigne.
Senior Shani Delaney added 16 points for Wellesley, and sophomore Kelly Grover added 12 rebounds, six blocks and five assists to her six points.
The Panthers got 17 points from senior Krystyna Zagorski (Matawan, N.J.) and 13 points off the bench from sophomore Heather Adey (Nashua, N.H.). Sophomore Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds and classmate Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.) added 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.
After an early PSC advantage, Wellesley came back to lead most of the first half. The Blue led by as much as nine points (25-16) with 4:36 remaining before PSC pulled back to within four (30-26) at the break.
Plymouth State took its only second-half lead, 39-38, on a pair of Zagorski free throws with 14:42 on the clock. But the Blue answered with a 15-6 run to regain an eight-point lead (53-45) with 9:41 remaining, and never trailed the rest of the way.
The Panthers got the deficit down to five (60-55) with 4:23 to play, and were within six points (65-59) with 1:47 remaining, but could not get a key basket when they needed one. Wellesley made its free throws down the stretch and won going away.
Zagorski completes her career with 1,061 points, which is fourth on the PSC career scoring list. Senior Kate Fillion (Littleton, N.H.) struggled through a difficult afternoon, missing all 12 of her shots, including nine from three-point range. She finishes her career with 759 points, 14th on the school's all-time scoring list.
Albert's 12 points gives her 411 points this season, the second-highest single season mark in school history and just four points shy of Betsy Bruce's school record of 415 in 1993-94.