PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Laura Kent (Bellingham, Mass.) made a lay-up with three seconds remaining Saturday afternoon and Plymouth State University held on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 67-66, in the Little East Conference women's basketball opener for both schools at Foley Gymnasium.
The Corsairs had one last chance to pull out the win but PSU senior Kalie Judd (Peabody, Mass.), who fed Kent for the game-winning basket, blocked the potential game-winning shot as time expired. PSU remains undefeated on the season at 7-0 overall, while the upset-minded Corsairs slipped to 2-5.
PSU's 7-0 record matches the best start to a season in school history, previously accomplished by the 2001-02 Panthers. The seven wins are also more than the Panther seniors earned the year they were freshmen (2006-07), when they finished 6-19.
There were nine lead changes in a closely contested first half, and PSU scored the last six points to take a 32-27 advantage into the locker room. The Panthers took their largest lead of the day, 40-27, early in the second half, but the pesky Corsairs battled back, going on an 18-4 run over the next five minutes to take a45-44 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way, with neither team leading by more than one possession. Judd made a three-pointer for PSU with 30 seconds to play to put PSU up by one (65-64), and senior Kaylin Nelson (New Bedford, Mass.) answered with a layup with 10 seconds on the clock to give the Corsairs the one-point advantage.
After a Panther timeout, Judd fed Kent underneath for the game-winning basket then preserved the victory with the blocked shot.
PSU junior Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West) led all scorers with 22 points along with eight rebounds. Kent and sophomore Alicia Doucet (Manchester, N.H./Central) both posted double-doubles, Kent scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 boards and Doucet adding 10 and 10.
Junior Lynley DeAmato (Melrose, Mass.) paced the visitors with 18 points, while freshman Colleen Moriarty (Canton, Mass.) came off the bench to score 12 points and collect a game-high 13 rebounds. Nelson chipped in with 13 points and freshman Nicole Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) added 10.
PSU plays its third straight home game next Thursday, hosting Lyndon State College in a non-conference affair at 5:30 p.m. UMD visits Simmons Tuesday for a non-conference tilt at 7:00 p.m.
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