PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Sophomore Kaylie DeMillo (Jay, Maine) led five University of Southern Maine players in double figures with 18 points Tuesday evening as the Huskies outlasted Plymouth State University, 74-66, in Little East Conference women's basketball action at Foley Gymnasium.
The Huskies have won two straight and five of their last six, improving to 19-5 overall and taking over third place in the conference with a 9-4 mark. PSU rallied from a 17-point, second-half deficit and cut the margin to four, but came up short and fell to 15-9 overall and 5-8 in conference play.
Sophomore Kristi Violette (Readfield, Maine) added 14 points for the Huskies while senior Stacy Kent (Northwood, N.H.), junior Nicole Paradis (Skowhegan, Maine) and freshman Courtney Cochran (Waite, Maine) each added 11.
PSU sophomore Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West), who scored a career-high 34 points in her last outing, came back with a team-leading 20 points and nine rebounds against USM. Freshman Alicia Doucet (Manchester, N.H./Central) added 17 points off the Panther bench, and junior Laura Kent (Bellingham, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points. Senior Kayla Morin (Pascoag, RI) filled the stat sheet, recording eight points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the losing effort.
USM took the lead for good just two minutes into the contest and never looked back. The Huskies slowly pulled away in the first half, increasing their lead to 10 points (29-19) with 5:30 to play and to 16 points (42-26) with a minute left before settling for a 44-30 lead at the break.
With the contest seemingly in USM's hands, PSU fought back with a 24-11 burst over a 10-minute stretch, cutting the margin to just four points (67-63) with 1:34 remaining. The Panthers had two chances to close the gap but a pair of turnovers foiled any possibility of an upset.
The Huskies shot 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the last 37 seconds to cement the victory. USM converted 27-of-33 (82 percent) from the charity stripe for the game.
Both teams wrap up the regular season at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday with Plymouth State hosting UMass Dartmouth on Senior Day at Foley Gymnasium while USM entertains Western Connecticut.
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