PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Seniors Courtney Albert (Hudson, N.H.) and Whitney Morin (Derby Line, Vt.) combined for 29 points and 24 rebounds Saturday afternoon, leading Plymouth State College's women's basketball team to an 83-56 victory over Albertus Magnus College in the semifinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
The top-seeded and defending champion Panthers (22-8) advance to Sunday's championship game against second-seeded Colby-Sawyer College. The Chargers (21-7) advanced Saturday with a 54-37 victory over Babson College in the second semifinal. Admission to Sunday's title game is free.
Plymouth State is trying to become the second team, and the first since Colby College in 1984 and 1985, to win back-to-back ECAC New England championships.
Albert finished her day with 13 points and 15 rebounds, getting the double-double in the first half with 11 points and 11 boards. Morin contributed a team-high 16 points while collecting nine rebounds. Classmates Jenn Pelletier (Derry, N.H.) and Heather Adey (Nashua, N.H.) added 10 points apiece, while grabbing eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
Sophomore Natalia Perlaza (West Haven, Conn.) turned in a strong effort for the Falcons, finishing with a team-high 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Junior Jenn Respardo (Meriden, Conn.) added 13 points (on 6-of-10 shooting) and six rebounds, and sophomore Terrell Fleming (Bridgeport, Conn.) chipped in with eight points and eight boards.
PSC gained control of the game midway through the first half, taking a double-digit lead (28-18) with seven minutes to play and maintaining a 16-point lead at the break. The Panthers opened the second half with a 16-5 burst to go up by 27 points (54-27), and coasted home the rest of the way.
PSC and Colby-Sawyer will be meeting for the second time this season. The Panthers defeated the Chargers 82-76 in New London, N.H., on Jan. 23. PSC has won three straight against CSC, and has taken six out of eight career meetings.