Conant 21 points leads Panthers in non-conference setback
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Lyndon State College used a 10-1 run over the game's opening three minutes and a late rally by Plymouth State University fell short as the Hornets topped the Panthers 67-58 in a non-conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
In the first contest following a 17-day layoff for the holiday break, PSU (4-7) struggled to find its rhythm early. Sophomore Alissa Mitchell (Milton, N.H.) sank a midrange jumper, then buried a three from the left wing to get Lyndon State (6-4) off to a good start. After settling in, Plymouth State answered with a 6-0 run, including a pair of baskets from junior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine), to cut the margin to 10-7 midway through the opening quarter. Freshman Faith Poirier (Portsmouth, N.H.) sank a triple from the right corner to push the Hornets' lead to 20-13 with one minute left in the frame, but Conant's layup made the score 20-15 after one.
A jumper from sophomore Kelsey Jacobs (Braintree, Vt.) pushed the LSC lead back to double-digits, 25-15, but the Panthers answered with another six-point run to cut it to a four-point game with 5:47 left in the half. Lyndon State responded with a 7-0 spurt before a layup from sophomore Alex Ricard (Manchester, N.H.) and three PSU free throws made it 32-26 at the half.
Lyndon State came out strong after the intermission. The Hornets used a 15-5 run over the first 5:21 to pull ahead 47-31, but the Panthers chipped away. Junior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) got inside for a tough layup, then free throws from Ricard and junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) cut the PSU deficit to 47-37. After a layup from senior Mikayla Hodge (Newbury, Vt.), Conant scored five straight points to cut the margin to 49-42 to start the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer from Mitchell gave the visitors a nine-point cushion, 54-45, early in the final frame. Poirier banked in a three as the shot clock expired to push the Hornets' lead to 57-45 with five minutes to play. Sophomore Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) connected from beyond the arc to make it 60-52 with just over a minute to play and Morrill's baseline jumper made it 65-58 with 18 seconds remaining, but Poirier sank two from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Conant led all scorers with 21 points to top the 20-point mark for the sixth time, while adding seven rebounds and three assists. Freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) added nine points and five rebounds, while Morrill chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Hodge led a trio of Hornets in double-figures. The 6-1 center notched her tenth double-double in ten games, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Poirier added 15 points and four rebounds, with Mitchell contributing 10 points and four assists.
The Panthers will head to Danbury, Conn. on Saturday for a Little East Conference match-up with Western Connecticut State. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. The Hornets are also in action Saturday, playing host to Castleton University in a North Atlantic Conference contest at 1:00 p.m.
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