PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior Heather Thomas (Merrimack, N.H.) nailed her first career three-point basket with 23 seconds left and added two clutch free throws with nine seconds remaining Saturday afternoon to lift the Plymouth State University women's basketball team to a 78-75 win over Little East Conference rival Rhode Island College at the Murray Center.
Thomas, who finished 13 points and eight boards, helped PSU complete the first semester at the .500 mark at 4-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play, while RIC is now 6-3 overall and 0-2 in the LEC.
Plymouth State had a balanced scoring attack, with five players scoring in double figures. Sophomore Meghan MacDonald (Salem, N.H.) scored 14 points and added a career-high 10 assists; junior Colleen Mahoney (North Attleboro, Mass.) added 14 points, four boards and four assists; junior Ashley White (Merrimack, N.H.) finished with 12 points, nine boards and four assists, and junior McKenzie Ferguson (Conway, N.H.) chipped in with 10 points.
RIC led 75-73 with 57 seconds left but was unable to hold on. Senior Jamie Angell (Cranston, R.I.) led all scorers with 15 points for the Anchorwomen, while junior Kari Geisler (Deerfield, N.H.) had 14 points and nine boards in a losing effort.
The Panthers had the upper hand most of the first half, taking a nine-point lead (18-9) six minutes into the contest. RIC rallied to take a brief lead (32-31) with two minutes remaining, but PSU answered with a 9-1 burst to take a 40-33 advantage into the locker room.
PSU extended its lead to 12 points (54-42) with 15 minutes remaining, and again the hosts rallied to take a 63-61 advantage with six minutes to play. It was tight down the stretch, and things appeared bright for the home team when Angell hit a three-pointer to put RIC ahead 75-73 with a minute to play. But Thomas had other ideas for the Panthers.
After a break for final exams and the holidays, the Panthers return to action on Thursday, Jan. 5, at Johnson & Wales University (5:30 p.m.) The next home game is an LEC affair on Saturday, Jan. 7, vs. UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of RIC Sports Information)
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