Conant, Roche and McLaughlin guide Panthers to non-conference win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine), sophomore Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) combined for 51 of their team's 55 points as Plymouth State University topped Lasell College, 55-47, in women's basketball action at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.
With the win the Panthers improve to 3-4, while Lasell drops its fourth straight to fall to 2-4.
PSU used a stifling defense over the final ten minutes to earn the come from behind win. The Panthers entered the fourth quarter trailing 41-39, but limited the Lasers to just six points on 2-of-20 shooting down the stretch to pull out the victory.
Conant posted her second straight double-double after leading all scorers with 22 points while pulling down 11 rebounds. Roche added her first career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and McLaughlin finished with 10 points and eight boards in the win.
Lasell got a team-high 12 points from senior Brianna Hoffman (Milford, N.H.), while classmate Morgan Church (New London, N.H.) chipped in with nine points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sophomore Dana Ross (East Haven, Conn.) added six points and 10 boards.
After a pair of three-pointers from Roche gave PSU an early 6-2 lead, the Lasers used an 8-0 run to pull in front. Conant scored six straight for PSU to tie the game at 12-12 and a late triple from Roche gave the Panthers a 17-14 lead after one.
The Lasers used a six-point spurt to pull back in front, but PSU responded with nine straight points. McLaughlin got the run started with a 12-foot jumper and Roche hit from beyond the arc during the stretch. A McLaughlin layup put the Panthers ahead 26-20 and the teams exchanged baskets to head into the half with PSU leading 28-23.
Church hit from long range to open the third quarter and a minute later junior Jaime Caron (Derry, N.H.) hit a jumper to tie the game at 28-all. Plymouth surged ahead again and Conant's layup in traffic gave the hosts a 35-28 lead midway through the frame. Hoffman hit from downtown to spark a 13-4 run for the Lasers to give the visitors the 41-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Conant tied the game early in the fourth with a driving layup and a minute later McLaughlin drained a pair from the charity stripe to give the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish. Caron cut the deficit to 47-45 with just under five minutes to play, but PSU buckled down and Roche, Conant and junior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) sealed the game from the free throw line.
Morrill, a 5-4 guard, finished with an impressive 11 rebounds to go along with three steals and two assists.
The Panthers return to action on Thursday (Dec. 7) night when they host Salem State University for a non-conference tilt. Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. Lasell is also back on the court on Thursday as the Lasers travel to Lyndon State College for a 5:30 p.m. contest.
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