GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine women's basketball team, ranked #1 in the nation in Division III, used a balanced offense and a relentless defense Tuesday night to defeat Plymouth State University, 80-39, in a Little East Conference game at the Warren Hill Gymnasium.
The win was the 12th straight for the Huskies and raised their overall record to 20-1. The Huskies, atop the Little East Conference with an 11-0 mark, have won their last 56 games against Little East opponents, and 43 straight games at home.
The 20 wins for the season extends the Huskies' NCAA Division III record for consecutive seasons with 20-or-more wins to 26, dating back to the 1980-81 season.
Senior Megan Myles (Auburn, Maine) paced the Huskies' offense scoring a game-high 15 points. Junior Ashley Marble (Topsfield, Maine) added 13 points and shared team-high rebounding honors with junior Shannon Kynoch (South Burlington, Vt.) as each grabbed seven caroms. Kynoch and junior guard Katie Sibley (Boothbay, Maine) each contributed nine points to the offense.
Southern Maine's defense held the visiting Panthers, now 9-12 overall and 4-7 in the conference, to an ice-cold 26.5 percent shooting (13 for 49) from the floor and forced 34 turnovers. Junior Kaitlin Linehan (South Boston, Mass.) led the Panthers with seven points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The Panthers were within two points (9-7) before the Huskies went on a 17-2 run over a seven-minute span to open a 17-point gap (26-9) with eight minutes to play in the half. The Huskies would enjoy a 40-19 advantage at the break.
The Huskies' margin continued to grow in the second half as the hosts went on a 10-2 spurt to open the half. Southern Maine's largest lead was 43 (71-28) with 6:18 to play.
USM finished the game shooting 44.8 percent (30 for 67) from the floor, including 8-for-16 from beyond the three-point arc.
The Huskies will journey to Providence, R.I., on Saturday to play at Rhode Island College. Plymouth State will travel to UMass Boston on Saturday. Both games start at 1:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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