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PSC stuns Salem State at buzzer

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior Whitney Morin (Derby Line, Vt.) drained a three-point basket as the final buzzer went off Thursday night, giving Plymouth State College's women's basketball team a dramatic 92-91 victory over Salem State College in a non-conference battle at Foley Gymnasium.

The Panthers trailed by four points with 16 seconds remaining, but junior Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.) canned a three-pointer with nine seconds left to cut the Viking lead to one. Salem State's Kara Smolinsky (Ashburnham, Mass.) hit one of two free throws with five seconds on the clock, but PSC sophomore Erica Perry (Center Conway, N.H.) quickly brought the ball up court and fed Morin, who connected on her third three-point hoop of the evening to win the game and send the Panthers into a frenzy.

The victory keeps the Panthers unbeaten on the season at 4-0, while Salem State drops to 1-3.

Morin led a trio of Panthers who scored at least 20 points. She hit 7-of-14 from the field to finish with a team-high 22 points and eight assists. Pelletier hit 6-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, to end up with 20 points, and junior Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) added 20 points in the paint on 8-of-9 shooting.

PSC also got solid performances from senior Megan Fournier (East Waterboro, Maine), who had 13 points, and junior Heather Adey (Nashua, N.H.), who contributed eight points and eight boards.

Smolinsky led all scorers with 30 points, connecting on 13-of-20 from the field. Junior Edwin Ashe (Lincoln, Mass.) was a force down low, totaling 13 points and 17 rebounds, including 10 off the offensive glass. Freshman Gillian Almeida (Mattapoisett, Mass.) also scored 17 points for the Vikings, and senior Casie Rhodes (East Greenwich, R.I.) added 13.

PSC held the advantage most of the first half, leading by as much as nine points several times, but had to settle for a two-point bulge (37-35) at the break. The Panthers held their largest lead (52-41) with 16 minutes left in the second half, but the Vikings went on a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 55-54 lead.

Salem built its lead to 10 points (78-68) with five minutes remaining, but PSC chipped away at the deficit. Pelletier made three long-range shots in the final two minutes, scoring 14 points in the last five minutes to help set up Morin's dramatic game-winner.

Plymouth State opens the Little East Conference slate this Saturday (Dec. 1) at Foley Gymnasium against UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.).