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January 21, 2003

PSC upsets 15th-ranked USM

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior forward Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) registered 20 points and a season-high 16 rebounds Tuesday night, leading Plymouth State College to a 77-66 victory over 15th-ranked University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

The victory was PSC's fourth in a row, improving the Panthers to 9-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference. It was the Panthers' third win at home in the last four seasons against the Huskies. Southern Maine, which is ranked 15th in this week's d3hoops.com national poll, had its five-game winning streak snapped and slipped to 13-3 overall and 5-1 in Little East play.

Albert was one of four Panther seniors who scored in double figures. Classmates Heather Adey (Nashua, N.H.), Whitney Morin (Derby Line, Vt.) and Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.) all finished with 12 points, and Adey collected nine rebounds as PSC had a 46-40 advantage on the boards.

The Huskies were led by freshman guard Tiffany Jones (Skowhegan, Maine), who had a game-high 26 points. Junior Meg Cressler (Appleton, Maine) finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while senior guard Jessica Libby (Orono, Maine) finished the night with 10 points.

Plymouth State shot a blistering 56 percent from the field in the second half to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit. Trailing 36-29 at the break, the Panthers chipped away at the Huskies' lead to tie the game at 40-40 on a pair of free throws by Albert. The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes until senior Albert buried a three-point shot with 11:01 to play to give the hosts the lead (50-47) for good.

PSC pushed its advantage to 10 (61-51) with an 11-4 run over the next five minutes. Southern Maine responded with a 9-4 run of its own, keyed by a pair of baskets from Jones and a three-point shot by freshman Donna Cowing (Weeks Mills, Maine). But Pelletier, who was held scoreless in the first half, hit her third three-point shot of the second half with 2:54 to play to break the Huskies momentum. The Panthers converted 9 of 10 free throws from that point to seal the victory.

The Panthers are back in action Thursday in a non-conference affair at Colby-Sawyer College (5:30 p.m.). Southern Maine returns home Saturday to face Western Connecticut.

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