Panthers' fourth quarter comeback bid falls short
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Plymouth State University used a frantic fourth quarter rally to trim a 20-point deficit all the way down to seven, but Rhode Island College was able to hold on for a 58-51 win over the Panthers in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at the Murray Center on Wednesday night.
RIC opened the game with a 20-4 run and drained three three-pointers while shooting nearly 56% from the floor to build a 23-8 lead in the first quarter. The Anchorwomen pushed the lead to 36-18 at the half, and led by as many as 24, 46-22, in the final minutes of the third but PSU mounted a furious comeback.
The Panthers opened the fourth with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 49-38 midway through the quarter and a layup by senior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) sliced the margin to single digits, 53-44, with 2:31 to go. Senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) hit from downtown to make it an eight-point game, 56-48, with just under 30 seconds to play, but the Anchorwomen sank two free throws to survive the rally.
Plymouth State drops to 8-10 (2-8 LEC), while RIC moves to 12-6 and 5-5 in conference play.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 51, Rhode Island College 58
Plymouth State (8-10, 2-8 LEC)
Rhode Island College (12-6, 5-5 LEC)
How it Happened:
* RIC started out strong, taking an 11-2 lead over the game's first 3:24. Conant stopped the spurt with a layup, but the hosts scored the next nine points to go up 20-4.
* Junior Chenysse Hill (Lynn, Mass.) came up with a steal and basket in transition and senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) beat the buzzer as the Panthers cut the deficit to 23-8 at the end of the first quarter.
* Freshman Maire Gallagher (Worcester, Mass.) drained a three as the Anchorwomen pushed the lead to 20, 34-14, with 2:23 left in the first half.
* The teams traded hoops from there and freshman Maysen Tyler (Bridge City, Texas) hit from inside to pull the panthers to within 36-18 at the half.
* RIC scored 10 of the first 14 points of the third quarter as the lead ballooned to 46-22 with 1:37 left in the frame, but Plymouth State clawed back.
* Junior Alex Ricard (Manchester, N.H.) sank a jumper and Conant added three points in the final 48 seconds as the Panthers trimmed the deficit to 47-27 heading into the final ten minutes.
* Junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) sparked the PSU rally with a triple and Hill followed with back-to-back buckets to make it a 47-34 game with 6:46 to play.
* The Anchorwomen still led by 15, 53-38, with less than four minutes remaining, but Emerson and Conant all hit from the interior to whittle the lead to single digits, 53-44, with 2:31 left.
* RIC had chances to put the game away at the free throw line, but shaky shooting left the door open and Morrill nailed a triple to make it 56-48 with 24 seconds to go. The teams traded free throws and Roche laid it in to make it 58-51 with seven seconds left, but RIC was able to run out the clock for the win.
Inside the Numbers:
* Conant led the way with a game-high 22 points, her biggest offensive output since the season opener, to move into 20th place on PSU's all-time scoring list with 803 career points. She added five rebounds and three assists.
* Emerson finished with six points and six rebounds, with Hill chipping in with six points of her own. Roche stuffed the stat sheet with five points, six rebounds, five steals, two blocks and two assists off the bench.
* Freshman Willcia McBorrough (Providence, R.I.) and junior Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, R.I.) posted double-doubles for the Anchorwomen. McBorrough finished with 14 points and 14 boards, while Livramento added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Sophia Guerrier (Waltham, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds.
* RIC owned a 55-34 advantage on the boards, but the Anchorwomen's 18 turnovers and 8-of-20 (40%) shooting from the charity stripe helped the Panthers' rally.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We started off with a lack of energy," said head coach Allison Flynn. "We came out with energy in the second half and showed poise. Brittany [Roche] and Alex [Ricard] stepped it up and played some great minutes."
* Plymouth State visits Eastern Connecticut State for another league game on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 1:00 p.m.
* The Anchorwomen host Southern Maine on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 1:00 p.m.
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