PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State College used a 22-6 run to open the second half Wednesday night, turning a tight game into a rout as the top-seeded Panthers eliminated eighth-seeded Coast Guard, 85-65, in the opening round of the 2002 ECAC New England Women's Basketball Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
The win gives PSC the right to host the tournament semi-finals and championship game this weekend at Foley Gym. The Panthers will host fourth-seeded Keene State Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by third-seeded Babson against second-seeded Norwich at 3 p.m. The championship contest is Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Keene State advanced with a 73-58 decision Wednesday evening over Colby-Sawyer College, while Babson knocked off Western New England, 64-56, and Norwich got past Wellesley, 73-65.
Coast Guard, which lost to PSC earlier this season (73-47), made a game of it against PSC in the first half Wednesday, leading 24-23 with 6:45 to play and trailing just 35-31 at the break. But the Panthers came out of the intermission with seven unanswered points in the first minute to build an 11-point margin (42-31), and increased the lead to 20 points (57-37) with 13 minutes to play before cruising home with the win. Coast Guard concludes its season at 16-11, setting the school record for victories in a season.
PSC had four players score in double figures, led by 18 points from junior Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.). Junior Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) contributed 13 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and six steals, while classmate Heather Adey (Nashua, N.H.) added 12 points and senior Megan Fournier (East Waterboro, Maine) chipped in with 10 points, six assists and four steals.
Junior Tessa Mueller (Torrington, Conn.) led the Bears with 17 points, while freshman Amy Harmel (Davidson, Md.) scored 14 points and junior Katie Johann (Bayport, N.Y.) added 10.
Plymouth State will be playing a rubber game Saturday against Keene State, with each team winning this season on the opposing home court. The Owls won 77-69 in Plymouth on Jan. 22, while the Panthers earned the 75-66 decision in Keene on Feb. 12.