Cadets hold on down stretch to deny Panthers late surge
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's basketball team saw its late comeback bid fall just short Tuesday evening, as the Norwich University Cadets held their nerve from the free throw line, to close out the victory by a score of 58-47, at Foley Gym.
Trailing by as many as 15, the Panthers pulled within a single point, with under three minutes to play, but could not complete the comeback.
Junior Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) was the top performer for PSU, scoring a game high 18 points, including 12 of 13 free-throws, as well as a team high nine rebounds. Junior Ace Lawrence (Middletown, Conn.) added 9 points, as the Panthers offense struggled, converting on 16 of 58 shots (27.6%).
The Cadets were paced by junior Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) who tallied 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore Shyann Josler (Thetford, Vt.) added a further 15 points, and classmate Arianna Harrison (Vernon, Vt.) chipped in with 10 points.
After a tight opening 4 minutes in which both teams managed a single basket, the Panthers would open up a 6 point lead. Norwich would close the gap at the end of the quarter with the Panthers holding a 12-10 lead.
The second quarter proved pivotal as the Cadets would find their offensive grove over a six minute span, going on a 16-4 run that would ultimately prove decisive, as the half finished 29-20.
The opening few minutes of the third quarter would see the Cadet's open up their largest lead of the night (15 points) on a Josler lay-up. However, Wyland would bring the Panthers back in to the contest, making six straight free throws in the final two minutes, to end the period.
The Panthers would come flying out of the blocks in the final period. Upping the tempo across the court, PSU would chip away at the cadets lead, and at the 2:52 mark would pull within a single point on a Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) lay-up. However, the comeback was not to be and the Cadets would go perfect on their final seven free throws, to seal the victory.
PSU (6-14) will be return to LEC action Saturday, on the road at Eastern Connecticut (1:00pm). Norwich (12-8) will also hit the road Saturday to play a GNAC contest at Suffolk (1:00pm).
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