Lawrence, Schmidt lead Panthers to best finish in seven years
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior DeAsia 'Ace' Lawrence (Middletown, Conn.) scored a game-high 17 points and classmate Annaliese Schmidt (Newmarket, N.H.) recorded her second –straight double-double to lead Plymouth State University to a 68-64 overtime Little East Conference (LEC) victory over Western Connecticut State University on Senior Day at Foley Gymnasium.
Trailing by a point with less than 30 seconds in the extra frame, sophomore Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) put the hosts up for good with a tough layup with contact. After completing the three-point play, Schmidt drew a charge on the other end and the Panthers were able to wrap up the game from the free throw line.
With the victory PSU improves to 8-16 overall and 5-9 in league games, while WCSU finishes the regular season at 14-11 (6-8 LEC). The eight wins and five conference wins are both the most for the Panthers since the 2009-10 season and the five league victories are more than the last six years combined.
Plymouth State finishes the regular season tied with UMass Boston for fifth place in the LEC, and will serve as the fifth seed in next week's LEC Tournament by virtue of the season sweep over the Beacons. Western Connecticut earns the tournament's fourth seed, setting up a rematch between the same two teams in Danbury on Tuesday (Feb. 21).
Prior to the game Plymouth State honored its seven seniors playing in their final regular season game; Maddy Beatrice (Newton, Mass.), Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.), Leah Swanson (Atkinson, N.H.), Savannah Miller (Smithtown, N.Y.), Lindsy Poulin (Goffstown, N.H.), Lawrence and Schmidt.
Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Sat., Feb. 18, 2017 – "Senior Day"
Plymouth State 68, Western Connecticut 64 (OT)
Plymouth State 8-16 (5-9 LEC); Western Connecticut 14-11 (6-8 LEC)
|PSU women's basketball honored its seniors prior to the game|
* Lawrence … game-high 17 points
* Schmidt … 11 points, 10 rebounds
* Wyland … 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists
* Beatrice … eight points, three rebounds, two assists
* Emerson … seven points, six rebounds
* Swanson … eight points, six rebounds, four steals, three assists
* Senior Samantha Smith (Wallingford, Conn.) … 16 points, eight rebounds
* Junior Kaitlyn LaBonte (South Windsor, Conn.) … 12 points, three rebounds
* Freshman Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, Conn.) … 10 points, two rebounds, four assists
* Senior Alecia Dulaire (Bloomfield, Conn.) … eight points, 11 rebounds, two assists
* Senior Alyssa Eannotti (Sheton, Conn.) … eight points, two rebounds
BY THE NUMBERS
* PSU shot 43.1% (28-of-65) from the floor while holding the Colonials to 33.8% (25-of-74) shooting.
* The Panthers held a slight 49-42 advantage on the boards.
* The back-and-forth game saw six ties and 18 lead changes.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* PSU went up 4-0 after two quick baskets from Lawrence, but the Colonials answered with seven straight points to take the lead the first four minutes.
* Sophomore Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, N.H.) put the Panthers back in front, 8-7, after sinking an inside jumper off a pretty feed from Swanson, but Smith swished a triple to make it 10-8 with three minutes left in the quarter.
* Swanson came up with a steal then raced down court for a layup before the quarter expired to cut the deficit to 14-13.
* Schmidt hit a baseline jumper off a feed from Beatrice and moments later Beatrice drained a jumper to put PSU in front 21-20 midway through the second quarter.
* Wyland's old-fashioned three-point play gave the hosts a 26-20 lead with 2:45 to play before intermission.
* The Panthers extended the lead to 28-20 after a Beatrice jumper, but the Colonials closed the half with baskets by Eannotti and junior Nicole Mierzejewski (Meriden, Conn.) to make it a 28-24 game at the break.
* Lawrence extended the PSU lead to 34-26 with a driving layup, but the Colonials answered with an 8-0 run, including two three-pointers from LaBonte to tie the score at 34-34 after four minutes.
* LaBonte's third triple put the visitors up 40-38 and moments later Hurlbert beat the defense down the court to extend the lead to 42-38 with 2:37 remaining in the frame.
* Schmidt sank one-of-two from the charity stripe to cut the margin to 44-42 after the third quarter.
* Smith extended the Colonials' lead to 50-44 with a jumper with 6:28 to play.
* Lawrence connected from beyond the arc and Wyland made a tough layup in traffic to cut the deficit to 50-49 with 4:46 to play, and a minute later Swanson's three put the hosts back in front, 52-50.
* With the score tied at 54-54 and less than five seconds on the clock the Panthers had a good look at the basket but were unable to sink the game-winner.
* Emerson put the hosts up with a midrange jumper one minute into the extra period, but Smith hit from long range to give the Colonials a 57-56 lead.
* The teams traded baskets and Lawrence sank two from the charity stripe to put PSU in front 60-59 with just over two minutes to play.
* Schmidt extended the lead with a deep jumper, but LaBonte swished a triple from the right wing to tie the score at 62-62 with 53 seconds left.
* Swanson connected on one-of-two from the charity stripe, but Smith's layup put the visitors up 64-63 with less than 30 seconds.
* Emerson drained a layup with contact, then coolly swished the free throw to put PSU up 66-64 with 24 seconds to go. On the ensuing possession Schmidt drew a huge charge and the Panthers wrapped up the game from the free throw line.
* The Panthers will travel to Danbury, Conn. to face these same Colonials in the opening round of the LEC Tournament on Tuesday (Feb. 21). Game time is to be determined.
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