BABSON PARK, Mass. - Senior Kayla Morin (Pascoag, R.I./Burrillville) scored a career-high 33 points Friday evening, making a school-record eight three-point baskets, as Plymouth State University defeated Babson College, 77-69, in the first game of the sixth annual Babson Invitational Tournament presented by Irving Oil at Staake Gymnasium.
The Panthers advance to the tournament championship game on Saturday at 3:00 p.m., when they will meet Westfield State College. The Owls advanced to the title game with a 67-62 victory over Connecticut College in Friday's second game. PSU is now 2-0 on the season while Babson was playing its season opener.
Morin (right) was 8-of-10 from three-point range and 10-of-17 overall. She broke the PSU single-game record of five treys, done several times, most recently by Joy DePalo against Keene State on Feb. 8, 2005. Morin also collected three assists and six rebounds, sharing team-high honors in the latter department as PSU out-rebounded Babson, 43-31. Morin's previous high was 17 points in a game against Lasell College last season.
Plymouth State was 12-of-23 as a team from three-point land, while Babson was just 1-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Freshman Alicia Doucet (Manchester, N.H./Central) chipped in with 11 points for PSU, while juniors Laura Kent (Bellingham, Mass.) and Gretchen Fritch (South Boston, Mass.) and sophomore Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West) added nine points apiece. Junior guard Kalie Judd (Peabody, Mass.) contributed nine assists, six rebounds, and four steals while committing just two turnovers.
Freshmen Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.) and Nicole Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass.) and sophomore Becky Bowman (Melrose, Mass.) combined to score 51 of Babson's 69 points. King led the Beavers with 18 points while Wurdeman tallied 17 and Bowman was good for 16.
PSU went on a 10-2 run late in the first half to take a 32-24 lead with six minutes to play. Morin's fourth three-pointer of the half gave the Panthers a seven-point advantage (36-29) with a minute to play, but Babson scored six unanswered points to cut the margin to one point at the break, 36-35.
Babson pulled out to a five-point lead five minutes into the second half, but PSU answered with nine straight points on two Morin long-range shots and one by freshman Michaela Gavin (Windham, N.H./Salem). It was a one-point PSU lead (53-52) at the midway point of the second half when PSU went on an 11-3 run over the next four minutes to extend the advantage to nine points. Morin had eight points in the rally, including a pair of ‘threes', and Galvin hit another three as well.
Babson got as close as five points with five minutes left, but PSU answered with seven unanswered points to put the game away.
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