Emerson, Conant post big games for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Seniors Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) and Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) had huge games for Plymouth State University, but the Panthers were nipped by Western Connecticut State University, 75-74, in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
WestConn junior Genesis Torres (Stratford, Conn.) hit twice from the free throw line to break a 70-70 tie with 28 seconds to play. PSU cut the margin in half when Conant hit one-of-two, but freshman Imani Baptiste (Bronx, N.Y.) made both of her attempts to push the lead to 74-71 with 24 seconds to go.
Baptiste sank another from the charity stripe for a 75-71 advantage with 14 seconds remaining, but freshman Maysen Tyler (Bridge City, Texas) nailed a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one with eight seconds to go. WestConn inbounded the ball and PSU was unable to commit a foul as the Colonials ran out the clock.
Conant finished with a season-best 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting, while Emerson posted a sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Torres led a balanced WestConn attack with 14 points.
With the setback the Panthers fall to 9-12 and 3-10 in the LEC, while the Colonials even their record at 10-10 and improve to 4-7 in league play.
Plymouth State 74, WestConn 75
Plymouth State (9-12, 3-10 LEC)
WestConn (10-10, 4-7 LEC)
How it Happened:
* Junior Brittney Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) gave the Panthers their first lead, 6-5, after 2:44 when she got to the basket for an easy lay-in.
* Emerson's layup gave the hosts a 10-7 lead, but senior Jancy Sherwood (Poughquag, N.Y.) hit from deep for the Colonials to tie the game with six minutes left in the opening frame.
* PSU went up 17-13 after an Emerson free throw, but WestConn closed the frame with six straight points to take a 19-17 lead after one.
* The visitors extended the lead to 24-17 early in the second quarter. After back-to-back buckets by the Panthers, Baptiste hit from downtown then added an interior bucket to push the WestConn lead to 29-21 after 3:46.
* Tyler hit from long range to cut the deficit to 36-30 at the break.
* Torres opened the third with a triple, but the Panthers clawed back as junior Mary Beitzel (Lancaster, Pa.) and Conant hit to cut the lead to 43-41 at the midpoint of the quarter.
* WestConn used a 12-4 spurt to take a double-digit lead with a minute remaining, but Emerson sank two free throws to make it 55-47 heading to the final ten minutes.
* Roche heated up from long range, connecting twice from beyond the arc to cut the margin to four, 59-55, just over a minute into the fourth. WestConn maintained the lead, though, answering every PSU run with a big bucket.
* The Panthers trimmed the deficit to 63-61 with 5:48 to play, but Sherwood and Genesis hit from downtown on back-to-back possessions and the visitors led 70-63 with two minutes to play.
* Conant scored four straight points and Emerson's jumper made it a one-point game, 70-69, with 48 seconds to go, and junior Chenysse Hill (Lynn, Mass.) tied things at the free throw line 20 seconds later.
* Torres hit both of her free throws to put WestConn back in front, and Conant made one-of-two to make it 72-71 with 28 seconds to play. Baptiste came off the bench and calmly sank three-of-four at the line to push the advantage to 75-71 with just 14 seconds to go, but Tyler canned a big three-pointer at the other end.
* WestConn rushed to get the ball in and Sherwood dribbled out the clock to secure the win.
Inside the Numbers:
* Conant finished with 27 points and three rebounds, while Emerson had a monster game with 17 points, 18 rebounds and four assists.
* Roche finished with 10 points, while senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) chipped in with seven points and six assists.
* Torres paced a quartet of Colonials in double figures with 14 points and added six boards. Junior Gabrielle Hurlbert (Thomaston, Conn.) added 12 points, with Sherwood and sophomore Asiah Knight (Norwalk, Conn.) chipping in with 11 and 10, respectively.
* Plymouth State shot 47.6% from the floor (30-of-63), while the Colonials hit on 24-of-57 (42.1%) attempts.
* WestConn drained ten three-pointers to PSU's five and the Colonials made 17 free throws while the Panthers had just 13 attempts.
* PSU outrebounded the visitors by a 34-33 margin and assisted on 20-of-30 made baskets. The Panthers outscored WestConn by a 36-26 margin on the inside, but the Colonials' reserves outscored their counterparts, 22-10.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I love this team because they never give up," said head coach Allison Flynn. "They know they're always going to compete. I thought we did a really good job against their press today. We went out there with everything we had."
* PSU welcomes the University of Massachusetts Boston to Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday (Feb. 6) for Play4Kay Night. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.
* The Colonials host the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Monday (Feb. 4) at 5:30 p.m.
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