Panthers advance to title game at Wheaton Tourney
NORTON, Mass. – The Plymouth State University women's basketball team turned a 30-29 halftime deficit into a 71-64 win over Fitchburg State University Friday night during the opening round of the 17th Wheaton College Tip-Off Tournament in Emerson Gymnasium.
Improving to 1-1 on the young season, the Panthers advance to Saturday's championship game against the host Lyons at 4:00 p.m. Also 1-1, Fitchburg State is set to face Rivier College in tomorrow's consolation at 2:00 p.m.
Plymouth State freshman Sammie Walker (Manchester, N.H./Central) led all scorers with 20 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a game-best five steals. Junior Michaela Galvin (Windham, N.H./Salem) recorded 14 points, while classmate Alicia Doucet (Manchester, N.H./Central) tacked on 12 points and seven boards.
Fitchburg State senior Kelley Rogers (Lowell, Mass.) led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points. Classmate Molly Maloney (Taunton, Mass.) finished with 12 points, while senior Kim Duprey (Bernardston, Mass./Pioneer Valley) added 11. Classmate Kristen Love (Londonderry, N.H.) pulled down a game-best 16 boards.
Following a tightly-contested opening half that saw the margin exceed five points just once, the second frame began with five lead changes and a pair of ties in the first 1:38, as the Panthers took a 35-34 edge for an advantage they would not relinquish. Clinging to a 39-36 lead with 16:37 remaining, Plymouth State rattled off 13 unanswered points for a 52-36 cushion at 12:48.
The Panthers maintained their double-digit advantage up until the Falcons hit back-to-back threes to narrow the gap to 62-56 approaching the three-minute mark. A Duprey triple at 1:57 kept Fitchburg State in striking distance at 65-59 with less than two minutes to play, but Plymouth State countered with a three and held at least a five-point lead the rest of the way.
Trailing 6-4 in the early minutes of the opening half, the Panthers went on a 9-0 run in taking the frame's largest advantage at 13-6 with 13:40 to play before the intermission. After a Duprey three-pointer that made the score 15-13 in Plymouth State's favor, the remainder of the half saw neither team lead by more than three points, as Fitchburg State carried the one-point edge into the locker room.
(Courtesy of Wheaton Sports Information)
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