McLaughlin matches career high in LEC setback
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) matched her career-high of 16 points, but Keene State College used a strong second quarter to top Plymouth State University, 63-50, in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
With the setback the Panthers drop to 6-18 (2-11 LEC), while Keene State moves to 6-18 and 4-9 in conference play.
McLaughlin led a trio of Panthers in double-figures finishing with team-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds. Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) added 12 points and six boards, while classmate Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) chipped in with 10 points.
The Owls were led by senior Sandi Purcell (Hudson, N.H.), who matched McLaughlin's 16 points. Freshman Lilly Shlimon (Pelham, N.H.) came off the bench to provide 13 points with most of the damage coming from the free throw line where she went 8-of-9. Sophomore Kenzie Bennett (Lake George, N.Y.) was the third Owl in double-digits with 11 points.
An early three-pointer put Keene ahead but the Panthers stayed close through the first quarter. Morrill got to the basket for a tough layup in the final minute of the quarter to pull PSU to within 9-8, but the Owls finished with five of the final seven points to take a 14-10 lead after one.
The teams traded baskets in the early going of the second quarter, with Keene pulling ahead 23-14 after the first 2:30. Emerson sank a pair from the charity stripe, but sophomore Jasmin Mitchell (Meriden, Conn.) hit from long range to give the visitors a double-digit advantage. A McLaughlin free throw cut the deficit to 31-23 with three minutes to go in the half, but KSC closed with a mini 7-3 spurt to take a 38-26 lead into the break.
Emerson cut into the lead with an early basket in the second half but KSC followed with a small burst to push the lead to 15, 45-30, with 3:21 left in the third quarter. Keene would lead by a comfortable margin into the fourth quarter.
PSU made one last push in the final three minutes, cutting a 17-point margin down to ten. McLaughlin had a pair of free throws to start the surge and Morrill sank a straight-on three. McLaughlin's layup made it 60-50 with one minute remaining, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
Plymouth State wraps up the regular season at home on Saturday against Rhode Island College (1:00 p.m.).
– 30 –