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Panthers defeated by #7 ECSU

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Sophomore Allison Coleman (Jewett City, Conn.) scored a season-high 29 points Saturday, leading Eastern Connecticut State University to an 85-73 victory over Plymouth State College in a Little East Conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

The win improves the Warriors to 17-1 overall and 8-1 in the conference, while PSC drops to 12-6 and 5-4. Eastern, which is ranked third in New England and No. 7 in the Division III national poll, has won six in a row since suffering its only loss at Southern Maine.

The Warriors had a strong first half, shooting 53 percent from the field and opening up a 21-point lead (43-22) with four minutes to play. Colemen led Eastern with 14 first-half points, while freshman Jamie Rosso (Wilmington, Vt.) added 10 points, connecting on a pair of three-point attempts, as ECSU held a 15-point bulge (46-31) at the break.

The Panthers made a strong comeback in the second half. After ECSU got its lead back up to 18 points (56-38 with 16:21 to play), PSC went on a 21-5 run to cut the deficit to two points (61-59) with nine minutes on the clock. The Panthers were with two points again (70-68) with 4:25 to play, but were unable to get the tying basket and ECSU outscored PSC 15-5 down the stretch to hold on for the win.

Coleman, who posted a triple-double as a freshman in last year's game at PSC, hit 13-of-27 shots from the floor and ended up with 29 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Rosso finished with 14 points off the bench, and sophomore Kathleen Burdelski (Newington, Conn.) and senior Joanna Debicki (Shelton, Conn.) contributed 11 points apiece.

Plymouth State had a balanced offensive attack, with five players scoring in double figures. Junior Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.) led the way with 16 points and six assists, while classmates Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) and Whitney Morin (Derby Line, Vt.) contributed 14 points apiece. Junior Heather Adey (Nashua, N.H.) added 13 points and senior Megan Fournier (East Waterboro, maine) chipped in with 10.

PSC outrebounded the visitors 43-35, and watched Eastern make only 10-of-21 free throws, but the Panthers were hurt by 22 turnovers.

The Panthers are back in action Thursday with a non-conference home game against Norwich (5:30 p.m.).