DUDLEY, Mass. - Senior guard MaryLynn Skarzenski (Woodbridge, N.J.) registered 16 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists Wednesday evening to lead top-seeded Nichols College to a 66-54 victory over eighth-seeded Plymouth State University in the opening round of the ECAC Division III New England Women's Basketball Championship Tournament.
The Bison advance to the ECAC New England semifinals for the second time in program history, and will host fourth-seeded Keene State College on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. The Owls moved on Wednesday evening with a 58-53 come-from-behind win over fifth-seeded University of New England. Plymouth State completes the season with a 16-11 record, its best mark in six years.
The Panthers were led by the tandem of junior Laura Kent (Bellingham, Mass.) and sophomore Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West). Kent scored a team-high 16 points, making 4-of-6 shots from the field and all eight free throw attempts before fouling out with four minutes to go, while Kania collected her fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and career-high 17 rebounds.
The Bison took an 11-point lead early, 17-6, with 12 minutes to go in the first half.PSU worked its way back the remainder of the half, and cut the deficit to six and ended the half down 28-22.
Plymouth State opened the second half by cutting the Bison lead
down to four points, but Nichols came back with a 14-4 run of their
own, pushing the lead back up to 14 midway through the second
The Panthers got the margin down to six with a minute and a half to go, but did not get any closer after that, as Nichols scored the last six points of the game.
The Bison were led by Skarzenski's double-double, as well as a 14-point, six-rebound performance from sophomore Jessica Nelson (North Providence, R.I.). Sophomore Ashley Robidoux (Milford, Mass.) pulled down 12 boards, leading the Bison in rebounding. Nichols outrebounded the Panthers 55-33 in the game, the largest margin of the season for Nichols.
PSU was hurt by ice-cold shooting from three-point range. After making over 100 three-pointers during the season, the Panthers missed all 18 attempts Wednesday from beyond the arc.
(Courtesy of Nichols Sports Information)
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