Conant leads Panthers to victory in season opener
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) poured in a game-high 26 points to lead Plymouth State University to a 74-64 win over New England College in the women's basketball season opener at Foley Gymnasium on Friday evening.
Conant shot an even 50% from the floor and finished 16-of-19 from the free throw line, while classmate Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) chipped in with 15 points.
The Panthers have won each of their last three season openers.
Prior to the game Plymouth State recognized active and retired service men and women in attendance as part of the department's Salute the Troops event. US Air Force veteran Morgan Navarro served as the Panthers' honorary captain and tossed up the ceremonial jump ball.
Plymouth State 74, New England College 64
Plymouth State 1-0
New England College 0-1
How it Happened:
* The first quarter went back and forth. PSU took an 8-4 lead after a pair of free throws from freshman Jeylly Medrano (Lynn, Mass.) for the largest lead of the quarter and junior Chenysse Hill (Lynn, Mass.) sank a pair from the charity stripe to give the Panthers a 14-12 advantage after the opening ten minutes.
* Emerson completed an old-fashioned three-point play to spark a 7-0 burst for the hosts as PSU took a 26-18 lead with just under three minutes to play in the second quarter and Conant converted a tough layup in traffic and sank the ensuing free throw to push the margin to 29-19 moments later.
* An NEC free throw made it a 29-20 lead for the Panthers at the break.
* Junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) hit from long range to push the PSU lead to 34-23 two minutes into the third quarter, but the Pilgrims answered with a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 36-35. Roche stopped the surge with another triple, but NEC climbed back to knot the score at 39-apiece.
* The Panthers closed out the frame on a 10-2 spurt, highlighted by a pair of threes from freshman Maysen Tyler (Bridge City, Texas), to head into the fourth quarter with a 49-41 advantage.
* NEC cut the lead down to three points on three separate occasions, but each time the Panthers responded and PSU held on for the win.
Inside the Numbers:
* Roche was the third Panther to finish in double figures, dropping in ten points.
* PSU was clutch from the charity stripe, draining 30-of-36 (83.3%), while the Pilgrims finished 13-of-29 (44.8%).
* Junior Rene Hudson (Gallatin, Tenn.) led NEC with 16 points and five rebounds.
* The Pilgrims held a 48-36 advantage on the boards and a 16-2 edge in second chance points.
* The Panthers relied on good ball movement to find open shots, picking up assists on 13 of 20 made field goals.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I thought we pushed the ball well," said head coach Allison Flynn. "I'm so proud of my team. Their hard work is really paying off."
* The Panthers travel to Green Mountain College on Monday (Nov. 12) for a non-conference game. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.
* NEC travels to Norwich University on Tuesday (Nov. 13) for a 5:30 p.m. game.
|The Panthers with Honorary Captain Morgan Navarro and James Goss prior to tip-off.|
– 30 –