McLaughlin leads Panthers with 14 points
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) scored a season-high 14 points but the high-flying offense of Westfield State University was too much as the Owls topped Plymouth State University, 97-58, in a non-conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Thursday evening.
Plymouth State kept pace with the Owls' dynamic offense, which entered as the top-scoring team in the country. PSU trailed by just four, 22-18, after the first quarter, and a jumper from freshman Jeylly Medrano (Lynn, Mass.) pulled PSU to within 32-29 with 6:30 left in the first half before the Owls' suffocating pressure sparked a 22-6 run to build a 54-35 lead at the half.
Westfield kept the pressure on throughout the third quarter to coast to the win.
With the setback the Panthers fall to 5-6, while Westfield State improves to 5-7.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 58, Westfield State 97
Plymouth State (5-6)
Westfield State (5-7)
How it Happened:
* The game started slowly as both teams struggled to find their rhythm. Westfield senior Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) and Medrano traded three point baskets as the Panthers led 8-7 after the first four minutes.
* The action would pick up from there. Westfield pulled ahead 14-12 when sophomore Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) drained a triple, but senior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) tied things with an inside basket on the next possession.
* McLaughlin sank a pair from the free throw line to give the Panthers a 16-14 lead before the Owls closed the quarter with 8-2 run.
* The pace picked up in the second quarter as both teams went up and down the court. A pair of quick baskets pushed the Westfield lead to 26-18, but McLaughlin answered with seven straight points.
* Medrano's bucket cut the PSU deficit to 32-29 with 6:30 left in the half, before Westfield State's defense turned up the pressure forcing 11 turnovers as part of a 22-6 run to make it 54-35 at the break.
* Westfield State put the game out of reach in the third quarter, outscoring the Panthers by a 26-8 margin, and Plymouth State was unable to cut into the deficit in the fourth quarter.
Inside the Numbers:
* Entering the game the Owls boasted the top scoring offense in the country, averaging 92.9 points per contest.
* McLaughlin sank 9-of-10 from the free throw line as Plymouth State shot 80% from the charity stripe (16-of-20) for the game.
* Senior Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) paced the Owls with 21 points, while McCarthy added 14. Gray and senior Allison Hester (Sutton, Mass.) chipped in with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I think the 3-1/2 weeks off really affected us after the first quarter," said head coach Allison Flynn. "We have a team of hard workers. They give their all all of the time, for us it's more about staying focused on the game plan."
* Plymouth State looks to pick up its first Little East Conference (LEC) win of the season on Saturday (Jan. 5) when the Panthers host Rhode Island College at 1:00 p.m.
* The Owls host MCLA on Saturday (Jan. 5) for a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game at 2:00 p.m.
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