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February 21, 2004

PSU Women’s Basketball falls to Western Conn.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Jennifer Ficarrotta (Yonkers, N.Y.) scored a game-high 27 points Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium to lead Western Connecticut State University past Plymouth State University, 66-61, in the Little East Conference women's basketball regular season finale for both schools.

The Colonials, who earned the season sweep over the Panthers, wrap up the regular season at 9-16 overall and in sixth place in the LEC with a 5-9 mark. PSU, which has lost five in a row, concludes the regular season at 10-15 overall and in seventh place with a 4-10 conference record.

Both teams will be on the road for Tuesday's LEC first-round games - seventh-seeded PSU visiting second-seeded Eastern Connecticut and sixth-seeded WCSU traveling to third-seeded Rhode Island College.

Ficarrotta hit 11-of-23 shots from the field, converting three baskets from three-point range. Senior Christin Morgatto (Seymour, Conn.) and freshman Mallory Stevens (Seymour, Conn.) each contributed 12 points to the Colonials' cause.

Plymouth State also had three players reach double figures in scoring. Senior Mandi Allen (Blue Hill, Maine) led the hosts with 13 points, while junior Betsy Oswalt (Jaffrey, N.H.) and sophomore Katie Susat (Glastonbury, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points apiece.

After a slow start, PSU went on a 15-2 run midway through the first half to assume an eight-point advantage (17-9) with five minutes to go before the break. The teams traded baskets the remainder of the half and went to the locker room with Plymouth State leading, 28-20.

PSU extended its lead to 10 points three times early in the second half, but the visitors battled back with a 20-6 spurt to take a 46-42 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. After a series of four lead changes, Western took the lead for good (50-49) with just over five minutes to play. It was still a one point game in the final minute, but the Colonials hit five straight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Both teams played better basketball in the second half. After hitting only 38 percent of its shots in the first 20 minutes, Western Conn. connected on 60 percent in the second half (15-of-25), while PSU rebounded from a 32.3 percent clip in the opening half to convert 52.2 percent after the break. Western finished the game at 50 percent, while PSU ended up at 40.7 percent.

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