JOHNSON, Vt. - Senior Sam Naas (South Hero, Vt.), playing in her home state near her hometown, registered nine points, a career-high 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals Thursday evening as the Plymouth State University women's basketball team won its fifth straight game, a 71-61 verdict over Johnson State College in non-conference action at Carter Gymnasium.
The Panthers improve to 11-3 overall, already matching last season's victory total, and the win streak is PSU's longest since 2002-03. The Badgers dropped their fourth straight and dipped to 4-7. Johnson State forced 28 Plymouth State turnovers but struggled to find the basket shooting 27 percent from the floor.
Senior Kayla Morin (Pascoag, R.I.) scored a game-high 16 points for PSU, hitting three 3-pointers in her scoring arsenal, while freshman Alicia Doucet (Manchester, N.H.) recorded 13 points and nine rebounds. Junior guards Gretchen Fritch (South Boston, Mass.) and Katie Sunderland (Londonderry, N.H.) each scored 10 to supplement the Panther offense.
Plymouth State methodically pulled away from the Badgers in the latter minutes of the first half, turning a four-point margin with 6:31 remaining into a 13-point bulge with 0:17 left but a Staci Cutting (Rochester, Vt.) bucket at the halftime buzzer made it 41-30 Plymouth heading into the locker room.
The Panthers kept JSC at bay most of the second half holding a double-digit lead most of the way. The Badgers cut the lead to eight points with 14:01 to play and then not again until the 1:57 mark.
PSU canned 23 of 30 free throw attempts on the night and staved off the feisty Badgers. JSC hit on 24 of 32 free throws but a 17-62 shooting night from the field doomed Johnson.
Claudia Martineau (Washington, Vt./Spaulding) led JSC with 13 points and nine rebounds while Cutting added 12 points and Jenna Lewis (Middlebury, Vt.) and Ashley Bryce (Cambridge, Vt./Lamoille Union) chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Johnson State will resume conference play in its next game on Tuesday when the Badgers travel to Green Mountain College for a 5:30 tip off. Plymouth State will ride its winning streak back into Little East Conference play on Saturday as it travels to UMass Dartmouth for a 1:00 pm contest.
(Courtesy of Johnson State Sports Information)
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