Emerson's double-double leads Panthers in setback
KEENE, N.H. – Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season, but Keene State College used a strong first quarter to hold off Plymouth State University, 62-49, in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at Spaulding Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
Sophomore Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) gave the Panthers a 5-3 lead with a three-pointer in the early going. The teams went back-and-forth over the next couple of minutes, with PSU holding a 9-8 lead following a jumper from junior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine). The Owls responded with back-to-back triples to spark a 9-0 run to pull in front. Emerson's jumper in the final minute of the quarter cut the deficit to 21-15, but senior Sandi Purcell (Hudson, N.H.) connected from beyond the arc to close the frame.
The Panthers' offense warmed up in the second quarter, but Keene answered every bucket with one of its own. Freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) cut the margin to 30-22 with a triple midway through the quarter, but junior Emily McPadden (Tyngsborough, Mass.) answered from distance at the other end. The home team extended the lead to 13 points, 37-24, in the final minutes of the half. Conant completed an old-fashioned three-point play to make it a 37-27 score at the break.
Roche drained a three to open the third quarter and cut the Keene lead to just seven, but the Owls answered with a 10-0 surge to pull ahead 47-30. PSU responded with seven straight points, capped by a layup from junior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) to make it 47-37 with four minutes left in the third, but KSC hit from long range again to stop the run. Morrill's layup made the score 50-39 entering the fourth quarter.
The Panthers were able to cut the Keene advantage to 10 multiple times in the final ten minutes, but each time the Owls countered with a bucket at the other end. Roche sank a free throw to make it 59-49 with less than two minutes to go, but Purcell got inside for a layup on the ensuing possession and a free throw for the Owls accounted for the 62-49 final.
Conant finished with a team-high 13 points and added five rebounds, with Morrill contributing 12 points and four boards. Emerson hit double figures for the third straight game, while McLaughlin pulled down 10 rebounds for the fourth time this season.
The Owls got a game-high 16 points from McPadden, while Purcell contributed 13 points off the bench. Keene owned a 24-15 lead after the first ten minutes, but only outscored the Panthers by a 38-34 margin the rest of the way.
Plymouth State will host Eastern Connecticut State in another Little East game on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.
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