Late comeback falls short for Panthers
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – What Lesley University thought would be a good primer for the New England Collegiate Conference playoffs ended up just that Thursday evening as the Lynx topped Little East Conference opponent Plymouth State University, 61-52, in non-conference women's basketball play at the Nicholas Athletic Center.
Lesley forward Rachael O'Mara led all scorers with a career-high 32 points – one shy of a Lynx record – to go with seven rebounds as Lesley won its third straight to improve to 14-10 overall.
Freshman Sam Monohon (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Trinity) scored a team-high 12 points to lead the Panthers, making 6-of-8 shots in 18 minutes off the Panther bench.PSU suffered its sixth straight loss and fell to 8-16 overall.
O'Mara scored six straight points early in the first half to start a 16-0 run, which would ultimately be the difference in the game. Layups from Kaitlyn Wechsler twice upped the Lynx lead to 16, and Cassidy Freed converted a traditional three-point play just before the halftime buzzer sounded, sending the Lynx into the break with a 40-20 advantage.
PSU freshman Kellie Walsh (Londonderry, N.H.) scored four points in a 10-0 Panthers run early in the second half that cut the margin to 12. An O'Mara bucket gave Lesley a 59-43 lead inside the 6:00 juncture, which was when things got interesting.
Back-to-back interior give-and-go passes from Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West) found Monohon for reverse layups. After a Colleen O'Hara (Otego, N.Y.) layup made it a 10-point game, O'Hara connected on a long three-pointer to cap a 9-0 run and pull the Panthers to within seven, 59-52, with 3:23 to play.
O'Mara again responded, connecting on a jumper to increase the lead to nine at the 2:00 mark. Lesley shot 0-3 at the line down the stretch, but its defense carried the team, holding Plymouth to 0-7 shooting over the final 3:00.
Both teams celebrate Senior Day in the final game of the regular season this Saturday as the Lynx play host to NECC rival Daniel Webster and Plymouth State entertains LEC foe Rhode Island College at Foley Gymnasium.
(Courtesy of Lesley Sports Information)
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