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Strong second half leads PSU Women’s Hoop past Keene State

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University overcame a 15-point second-half deficit Tuesday night and pulled out a strong 83-78 victory over archrival Keene State College in a Little East Conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

The Panthers, who trailed 43-28 early in the second half, shot 58 percent from the floor over the last 20 minutes, outscoring the Owls 55-38 to secure the win. PSU collected its fifth consecutive win over Keene State and improved to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in conference play, while the Owls dropped to 7-7 and 2-3.

Junior Lauren Devereaux (Hope Valley, R.I.) led five Panthers who scored in double figures, finishing with a career-high 18 points and seven rebounds. Senior Mandi Allen (Blue Hill, Maine) added 16 points, freshman Heather Thomas (Merrimack, N.H.) chipped in with 11 points and a team-high eight boards, and sophomore Katie Susat (Glastonbury, Conn.) and freshman Colleen Mahoney (North Attleboro, Mass.) contributed 10 points apiece.

The outcome ruined a strong performance from sophomore Stacey Morse (Lebanon, N.H.), who came off the Owls' bench to hit 9-of-14 shots to finish with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Sarah Begnoche (Millville, Mass.) added 18 points and eight boards, and senior Andrea Arsenault (Dover, N.H.) finished with 10 points.

The Panthers came out strong, surging to an 11-point advantage (16-5) eight minutes into the game. Keene State responded with a 35-9 run over the next 10 minutes before settling for a 40-28 halftime advantage.

The Owls still owned a 10-point lead (56-46) with 13 minutes left on the second half clock, but PSU battled back to tie it at 69-apiece with five minutes to play. It was 75-all with just over a minute left, but PSU scored six unanswered points, and PSU held on in the final seconds.

Plymouth State ended up shooting 52.3 percent for the game, while Keene State hit at a 42.2 percent clip. The Panthers had a 44-34 advantage on the boards.

PSU continues its three-game homestand Thursday with a non-conference clash against Granite State rival Colby-Sawyer (6:00 p.m.).

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