Conant leads all scorers with 20-point effort
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) led all scorers with a game-high 20 points, but Eastern Connecticut State University was able to pull away from Plymouth State University late to earn a 69-57 win in a Little East Conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers trailed by ten, 31-21, at the half, but were able to pull within four points multiple times in the third quarter. The Warriors used a run through the middle portion of the frame to take a 48-37 lead into the fourth. PSU hung around and junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) cut the margin to six points, 56-50, with 3:22 to play, but Eastern Connecticut answered with a 13-7 spurt to close out the win.
Plymouth State falls to 5-5 overall and 0-4 in conference play, while Eastern Connecticut improves to 6-2 and remains unbeaten in league action (4-0).
Plymouth State 69, Eastern Connecticut 57
Plymouth State 5-5, 0-4 LEC
Eastern Connecticut 6-2, 4-0 LEC
How it Happened:
* Eastern Connecticut jumped out to a 9-2 lead over the first 3:46 and held a 13-6 advantage with 3:45 to play in the opening quarter.
* Senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) pulled PSU to within two with an early bucket in the second, but junior Lizzy Cretella (Cheshire, Conn.) answered from distance for the Warriors.
* The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes until freshman Julie Keckler (Trumbull, Conn.) connected from beyond the arc to spark an 8-2 Warriors' run to close the half with a 31-21 lead.
* PSU used a 6-0 spurt out of the break to cut the deficit to 31-27 and force an Eastern timeout.
* Cretella got inside on consecutive possessions and a Warriors' jumper pushed the lead to double figures, 42-31, with 3:13 left in the third and the visitors would maintain the 11-point advantage (48-37) heading in to the fourth quarter.
* Plymouth State whittled the lead down to six point (56-50) after Roche finished at the rim, but Keckler answered from deep on the ensuing possession.
* McLaughlin drained a straight-on three to make it a 59-53 game with 2:34 to play, but the Warriors were able to hold on for the 69-57 win.
Inside the Numbers:
* Conant's game-high 20 points came on 6-of-14 shooting. She was perfect from the charity stripe (8-of-8) and added eight rebounds.
* Senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds and McLaughlin pulled down eight rebounds in addition to her five points.
* Keckler led the Warriors with 17 points, while Cretella added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.
* Junior Mya Villard (Cromwell, Conn.) and senior Kelsey Santagata (Stamford, Conn.) both added 12-point efforts, with Villard also grabbing nine rebounds.
* PSU drained 12-of-14 attempts from the free throw line.
* The Warriors owned a 47-34 advantage on the glass, but the Panthers' defense forced 14 turnovers.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I thought we did a good job on their bigs," said head coach Allison Flynn. "That was part of our game plan and I thought it helped that we were somewhat able to take that away. Eastern shot well from the outside, though, and that ended up hurting us. All in all I thought our effort was great today."
* Plymouth State is off for the next three weeks for final exams and the holiday break. The Panthers return to action on Jan. 3 for a home game against Westfield State University at 5:30 p.m.
* Eastern Connecticut will compete in the Salem State Holiday Classic on Dec. 29 and 30.
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