Emerson, Roche post career-highs as Panthers move to 2-0
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) scored a career-high 19 points and classmate Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) added 15 points and a personal-best 16 rebounds to lead Plymouth State University to a 59-53 win over Plattsburgh State in the opening round of the Cardinal Classic at Memorial Hall.
With the win the Panthers advance to the championship game of the tournament and move to 2-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season. PSU will face the University of New England at 3:00 p.m. for the championship tomorrow. Plattsburgh State falls to 0-1 on the year.
PSU opened the game with baskets from Emerson and junior Emily Brochu (Lewiston, Maine), and following a pair of Cardinals' free throws, a Roche layup put the visitors up 6-2. Plattsburgh rallied to knot the score at eight with 3:33 left in the opening quarter, but freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) connected from beyond the arc to restore the PSU lead. A late layup from junior Anna Thompson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) put Plattsburgh State in front 12-11 after one.
Junior Bella DePasquale (Ardsley, N.Y.) hit from long range to up the hosts' lead to 15-11 and moments later a layup from Thompson increased the advantage to 19-13. The Panthers answered with a 12-2 run, including a pair of deep balls from Roche, to reclaim the lead, 25-21. Following a Plattsburgh interior basket, Emerson scored from inside and from downtown to make it 30-23. A bucket just before the buzzer by sophomore Taylor Durnan (Lyon Martin, N.Y.) left the Panthers with a five point lead, 30-25, at the intermission.
Roche hit back-to-back threes to expand the PSU lead to 36-27 early in the third quarter. Plattsburgh answered with a 7-2 run to cut into the deficit, but Emerson connected twice to push the lead back to 42-36 entering the final quarter.
A layup from sophomore Mary Beitzel (Lancaster, Pa.) gave the Panthers their largest lead (48-39), but the hosts responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to just two. Brochu hit from long range, then added a layup, to give PSU a 53-48 advantage with 3:30 left to play. The Cardinals cut the lead to two again, getting to within 53-51 with just under a minute to play, but the Panthers hit six-of-eight free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Roche and Emerson were the only Panthers in double figures. Junior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) added nine points and six rebounds and Brochu chipped in with seven points, three rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. Junior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) led the offense with a game-high six assists.
Thompson led the Cardinals with 15 points, while Durnin and sophomore Taylor Clare (Peekskill, N.Y.) added 11 and 12 points respectively. Durnin and Clare both added nine rebounds to the stat sheet.
The Panthers look to move to 3-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 team opened with eight straight wins when they face UNE in tomorrow's championship game at 3:00 p.m. Plattsburgh State and Clarkson will meet in the consolation round at 1:00 p.m.
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