Sharp shooting propels PSU Women’s Basketball over Western Conn.

Sharp shooting propels PSU Women’s Basketball over Western Conn.

Panther offense puts up most points since 2006 in LEC win

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – All five starters finished in double figures and the Plymouth State University women's basketball team put up the most points in more than 11 years en route to a 94-87 win over Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

            PSU improves to 6-15 (2-8 LEC), while the Colonials dip to 10-11 and 3-7 in league games.

            Junior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) led all scorers with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while adding seven rebounds. Sophomore Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) poured in 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) set a new career-high with 16 points (8-of-12) and five rebounds. Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) notched her third double-double of the year, with a 12-point, 12-rebound effort. She added four assists and three steals. Not to be outdone, junior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) flirted with a triple-double, posting totals of 10 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

            The Colonials got a team-best 26 points from junior Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, N.Y.). The 5-5 guard drilled eight three-pointers. Sophomores Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, Conn.) and Emma Belcourt (Cromwell, Conn.) came off the bench to add 17 and 16 points, respectively.

            Roche sank a jumper to give the hosts an 11-8 lead after the first four minutes. Freshman Frances Snyder (Pine Plains, N.Y.) connected from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions for the Colonials to put the visitors up 16-11 with just over three minutes left in the opening period and Western would hold a 23-15 advantage after the first quarter.

            The Colonials took their biggest lead, 26-15, after another three from Sherwood 1:14 into the second. PSU answered with eight straight points, all interior baskets, to pull within 26-23 with 6:43 left before halftime, but Western Connecticut hit from long range on its next two possessions. Emerson's offensive rebound and put-back gave the Panthers a 37-36 lead at the break.

            It looked like PSU might pull away, as the home team opened the third quarter an 8-0 burst, but Sherwood came to the rescue again, sinking another pair of triples around a Roche jumper to make it a 47-42 lead for the Panthers. Plymouth held the Colonials scoreless for over five minutes as they took their biggest lead of the game, 59-46, and the home team went into the final quarter with a 65-53 lead.

            Western came out quick in the fourth, using a 10-2 run to pull within four, 67-63, but Roche answered from downtown and the Panthers regained a double-digit lead. Hurlbert scored eight straight points and Sherwood's four-point play evened the score at 81-apiece with just under four minutes to go. Sherwood's eighth and final three-pointer put the Colonials ahead 87-86 with 53 seconds remaining, but Conant and Emerson both went four-of-four from the charity stripe to secure the win.  

            The 94 points scored were the most since Nov. 19, 2006, when PSU topped Simmons College by a 94-84 score. The Panthers finished 39-of-71 from the floor (54.9%), their highest percentage of the year. PSU has finished over 50% three times this season with two of them coming against the Colonials. Plymouth State outscored Western Connecticut 58-16 in the paint, though the Colonials' reserves outscored their counterparts 45-9.

            Both teams are back on the court for an LEC contest on Wednesday. The Panthers travel to Southern Maine while WCSU will host Rhode Island College with both games set to tip-off at 5:30 p.m.



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