PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jillian Ross scored a game-high 17 points and shared team-high honors with eight rebounds Thursday afternoon as the University of Maine Farmington defeated Plymouth State University, 64-58, in non-conference women's basketball action at Foley Gymnasium.
The Beavers took the lead for good midway through the first half and held off a second-half Panther rally to pull out the victory. UMF, which was playing for the first time since Dec. 12, improved to 3-6 overall, while PSU dropped its third in a row and fell to 7-4.
Ross was one of three Beavers to score in double figures, as senior Ashley Busque tallied 15 points and sophomore Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine) chipped in with 13. Sophomore Rachel Clement also grabbed eight boards as UMF won the rebounding battle, 46-39.
Freshman Kellie Walsh led the Panthers with a season-high 16 points and seven steals. Junior Michaela Galvin chipped in with 11 points and senior Amanda Kania finished with 10. Junior Kristin Crotts grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to go with seven points. The Panthers were without leading scorer Alicia Doucet, who was ill.
PSU scored eight unanswered points early in the first half to turn a four-point deficit into a four-point advantage, 12-8. UMF answered with a 20-5 spurt over the next 10 minutes to open up an 11-point margin, 28-17. The Panthers stayed strong and battled back to within six points at halftime, 33-27.
The visitors maintained the lead throughout the second half, extending the margin to 15 points, 49-34, with 15 minutes remaining. PSU battled back, chipping away at the deficit over the next nine minutes and pulling to within two points, 55-53, with six minutes on the clock. Ross hit a key three-pointer for UMF that pushed the lead back up to seven points, and PSU could get no closer than four points the rest of the way.
PSU resumes Little East Conference action Saturday with a visit to Western Connecticut State University, which is ranked 25th in the latest USA Today/ESPN (WBCA) Division III poll. UMF plays at Thomas College next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
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