Lawrence, Wyland top Panthers in conference setback
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Grace Geary (Falmouth, Mass.) scored a season-high 27 points Tuesday evening to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston to a 74-49 victory over Plymouth State University in Little East Conference women's basketball action at Foley Gym.
Geary, who scored 26 points a week ago against Brandeis, connected on 9-of-13 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. She also made all five free throw attempts, collected two steals, and handed out a game-high five assists with no turnovers in 29 minutes.
Junior Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) also finished in double figures with 12 points for the Beacons, who have won four of their last five games to improve to 8-5 overall and 2-2 in the Little East.
Sophomores Ace Lawrence (Middletown, Conn.) and Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) combined for 23 points to lead PSU, Lawrence with 12 points and four assists and Wyland with 11 points and six rebounds. Senior Tiffany Lewis (Hillsboro, N.H.) chipped in with six points and six boards for the Panthers (6-7 overall, 0-4 in conference play).
It was a one or two-possession game most of the first half. PSU had an early 8-5 lead after a pair of jumpers by Wyland, but the Beacons rattled off nine straight points by four different players to take a 14-8 advantage. PSU answered with eight unanswered, including back-to-back threes by Lawrence and sophomore Avi Morrison (Hampton, N.H.) to regain the lead, 16-14, with seven minutes left in the first half.
UMass Boston tightened the defense and held PSU to just three free throws over the next three minutes, while Geary poured in eight points and Murphy added four as the Beacons pushed the lead up to nine points, 28-19, with four minutes to play in the half. The teams traded baskets in the final four minutes and UMB took a 31-22 lead into the break.
The visitors outscored Plymouth State 20-2 over the first seven minutes of the second half to put the game away. Geary had seven points in the stretch while Murphy added four points.
PSU plays again Saturday in a Little East matchup at Rhode Island College while UMass Boston returns to action Thursday night when they host intra-state rival Bridgewater State University.
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