Four Panthers finish in double-figures in LEC setback
DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Four Panthers finished with double-figures but the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth used a 31-point third quarter to surge past Plymouth State University, 78-64, in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at Tripp Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
PSU (5-12, 1-6 LEC) hung tough with the Corsairs (13-3, 7-0 LEC) through the first half, trailing by a narrow 35-32 score at the intermission. UMD outscored Plymouth, 31-12, in the decisive third quarter to grab control. The Panthers clawed back to cut in the final ten minutes, outscoring the hosts by a 20-12 margin, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Junior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) led the Panthers with team-highs of 17 points and eight rebounds, while classmates Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) and Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) added 13 and 10 points respectively. Emerson also pulled down eight rebounds, while Morrill grabbed three boards to go along with her nine assists. Sophomore Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) chipped in with 12 points and four rebounds.
Senior Alicia Kutil (Franklin, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points, with classmates Leah Douty (Framingham, Mass.) and Chelsea Houlihan (Wolcott, Conn.) adding 14 and 12 points for the Corsairs.
Kutil's layup and free throw gave the hosts an early 7-4 lead, but Roche hit a triple for the Panthers to put PSU up 13-10 with 4:29 left in the opening quarter. Emerson's free throw knotted the score at 16-apiece with less than three minutes in the frame, but the Corsairs closed with a 6-2 spurt to lead 22-18 after one.
Douty connected from beyond the arc to put UMD ahead by seven, 27-20, 2:17 into the second quarter. The Panthers scratched back to cut the margin to one following a free throw by freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.). The teams played even over the next couple of minutes until a Houlihan three-pointer put the Corsairs up 35-31 with less than a minute in the half. Conant's free throw accounted for the 35-32 halftime score.
UMD opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run to take control. After a Roche layup the hosts ran eight-straight points and a three just before the end of the quarter made the PSU margin 66-44.
After a basket by Kutil to open the fourth quarter the Panthers used a 7-2 run to close the gap. UMD steadied and pushed the lead back to 21, 74-53, with five minutes to play, but PSU chipped away. The Panthers used a 10-2 surge over the next three-plus minutes to make it a 76-63 game with 1:44 on the clock, but neither team would connect from the field again and three free throws would account for the final score.
The Panthers will travel to Keene State for another LEC contest on Wednesday. The game between the long-time rivals tips off at 5:30 p.m.
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