Corliss, Lawrence lead Panthers in season finale
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Vandell Andrade (Providence, R.I.) racked up 24 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and four steals Tuesday night as top-seeded Rhode Island College knocked off eighth-seeded Plymouth State University, 56-45, in the first round of the 2014 Little East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at The Murray Center.
The Anchorwomen (18-8) advance to face fourth-seeded Western Connecticut in the semifinals, which will be held at RIC on Friday night (5:30 p.m.). It marks the second time in the last three years that RIC has hosted the LEC Championship. In the other semifinal matchup on Friday, second-seeded Southern Maine will battle third-seeded Eastern Connecticut (7:30 p.m.).
Meanwhile, despite a hard-fought effort against the Anchorwomen, Plymouth State (2-22) sees its season come to an end with the loss.
Senior Cara Paladino (Arlington, Mass.) finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Anchorwomen. Sophomore Michelle Lagrotteria (Niantic, Conn.) handed out a game-high six assists, while freshman Alex Moore (West Newbury, Mass.) chipped in with seven points and three assists.
Senior guard Krystin Corliss (Barnstead, N.H.) led Panthers with 13 points, while freshman DeAsia Lawrence (Middletown, CT) added 12 points. Sophomore Bry Bennett (Lancaster, N.H.) posted seven points and seven rebounds to go along with three blocks, while senior Kait Deering (Sidney, Maine) finished with four points and six rebounds.
After the Anchorwomen wrestled an early lead away from PSU following a jumper from senior Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, R.I.), RIC proceeded to rattle off a 15-3 scoring run and took a 21-7 lead over the Panthers with 9:39 remaining in the frame. Although the visitors cut the deficit to single digits on several occasions through the latter stages of the stanza, the Anchorwomen eventually went into halftime on top, 38-25.
In what proved to be a sloppy, low-scoring second half in which the two teams combined for 22 turnovers, Rhode Island College watched Plymouth State cut the deficit to just 10 with 14:05 on the clock thanks to a jumper from sophomore Taylor Perry (Simsbury, Conn.). However, RIC managed to fend off the Panthers with a 10-0 scoring run midway through the frame that gave the hosts a 50-30 lead with 9:38 left to play.
PSU answered back with nine unanswered points to cut the margin to 11 at the 5:04 mark, but couldn't trim the deficit to single digits in the final stages of the ballgame.
(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)
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