Lawrence, Wyland lead Panthers' effort in LEC setback
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Seniors DeAsia 'Ace' Lawrence (Middletown, Conn.) and Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) combined for 30 points, but it wasn't enough as the Plymouth State University women's basketball team fell to Eastern Connecticut State University, 47-39, in a Little East Conference (LEC) match-up Saturday at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Lawrence led all scorers with a game-high 20 points, and Wyland finished with her third double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and pulling down a game-best 12 rebounds. The Panthers, who nearly upset then top-seeded ECSU in last year's LEC Tournament, took a 19-14 lead into the half. The Warriors offense picked up after the break, scoring 33 second-half points and holding off a late rally by PSU to secure the win.
Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium, Willimantic, Conn. – Sat., Jan. 7, 2017
Plymouth State 39, Eastern Connecticut 47
Plymouth State 2-8 (0-3 LEC); Eastern Connecticut 7-4 (2-1 LEC)
* Lawrence … game-high 20 points, three rebounds
* Wyland … 10 points, game-high 12 rebounds, three blocks, two assists
* Senior Savannah Miller (Smithtown, N.Y.) … five points, three rebounds
* Senior Maddy Beatrice (Newton, Mass.) … four points, three rebounds
* Senior Jordyn Nappi (Southington, Conn.) … 17 points, six rebounds
* Sophomore Kelsey Santagata (Stamford, Conn.) … eight points, eight rebounds, five steals
* Senior Lexis Foster (Groton, Conn.) … six points, nine rebounds, seven blocks
* Senior Julia DePoi (Brookfield, Conn.) … seven points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, two blocks
BY THE NUMBERS
* Both teams struggled to find their shot as PSU finished shooting 21.3% (13-of-61) and ECSU ended up at 25.8% (16-of-62).
* The Panthers held a slight 49-46 edge on the boards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* PSU held a slight 9-8 lead with three minutes to play in the quarter, then used a 7-0 spurt to increase the lead to 16-8 thanks to a three-pointer and layup from Lawrence plus a pair of free throws from Beatrice.
* Freshman Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire, Conn.) connected from beyond the arc in the final seconds of the quarter to make it 16-11 after one.
* Neither team could muster much offense in the second quarter, as each team scored three points in the frame.
* A triple from Miller made it a 19-12 advantage for the Panthers with 1:29 left in the half.
* The Warriors scored all three of their points from the charity stripe, with DePoi netting a pair in the final minute to make it a 19-14 game at the break.
* A pair of free throws from Lawrence, plus a layup for Miller put Plymouth State up 23-16 at the midpoint of the third quarter.
* The Warriors charged back with a 14-0 run to pull in front 30-23 with 34 seconds left in the period.
* Lawrence hit from long range in the final seconds of the quarter to cut the Panther deficit to 30-26 heading to the final quarter.
* Nappi connected twice from deep to start the fourth quarter, then DePoi and Nappi both hit from inside after Beatrice sank two free throws to give the Warriors their largest lead of the game, 40-28, with 5:51 remaining.
* Wyland scored four straight points for PSU and after an ECSU bucket Lawrence hit a three-pointer to start a Panther comeback.
* Lawrence hit a jumper, then a layup from Wyland cut the deficit to just three points, 42-39, with 1:15 left to play, but Eastern Connecticut scored the game's final five points to secure the 47-39 win.
* PSU looks to rebound on Wednesday (Jan. 11) when the Panthers host the University of Massachusetts – Boston in another LEC game. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.
* The Warriors will travel to Sage for a 6:00 p.m. game on Monday (Jan. 9).
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