Conant, Emerson, Morrill lead Panthers in LEC setback
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Seniors Jess Conant (Canton, Maine), Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) and Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) combined for 43 points but the University of Massachusetts Boston used a big third quarter to top Plymouth State University, 65-53, in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
PSU trailed by two, 14-12, after the first quarter and went into halftime down 35-25, but UMass Boston outscored the Panthers, 20-8, in the third quarter to pull away. The hosts put up 20 points in the final ten minutes, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
With the setback the Panthers fall to 9-13 and 3-11 in the LEC, while UMass Boston improves to 17-6 and 10-4 in league play.
Plymouth State 53, UMass Boston 65
Plymouth State (9-13, 3-11 LEC)
UMass Boston (17-6, 10-4 LEC)
How it Happened:
* Plymouth State's ball movement led to open shots early as the Panthers went up 8-5 following a jumper from Conant after the first two minutes.
* Sophomore Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) drained her second three-pointer of the quarter to pull the Beacons even and the visitors went ahead following a pair of free throws from classmate Alecia Quinones (Stoughton, Mass.) two minutes later.
* Emerson sank a pair of jumpers to tie the game at 10-10 and 12-12 moments later, but sophomore Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) got to the basket to give UMass Boston a 14-12 lead after one.
* The Beacons' full-court pressure stifled PSU early in the second quarter, but junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) got past the defense for a layup, then hit from beyond the arc on the next possession as the Panthers went ahead, 21-18, with six minutes left in the half.
* UMass Boston answered with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 33-23 lead. Quinones and sophomore Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) each had five points in the stretch.
* Conant stopped the spurt with an interior bucket, but Grassi closed the half with a pair of free throws as UMB took a 35-25 lead into the halftime intermission.
* UMass Boston seized control out of the break. Jackson buried a pair of triples as part of an 8-1 burst to open the third as the Beacons went ahead 43-26.
* Morrill momentarily stopped the streak with a three of her own, but the visitors used a 12-4 run over the final six minutes of the quarter to take a 55-33 lead into the final ten minutes.
* UMB scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, when the Panthers began to chip away. PSU used a 10-0 run, capped by an old-fashioned three-point play from Emerson, to pull within 61-42 with four minutes to play, but the lead was too big to overcome.
Inside the Numbers:
* Conant led the Panthers with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Emerson added 15 points and six boards.
* Morrill chipped in 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals.
* Grassi paced the Beacons with a 13-point effort and added eight boards, while Jackson chipped in with 12 points and four assists.
* UMB held a slight edge on the glass, outrebounding the Panthers by a 38-31 margin, but the visitors made 8-of-18 from downtown.
* PSU outscored the visitors 28-18 in the paint and 14-0 in fast break points, but the Beacons' bench outscored the Panthers' reserves by a 20-3 margin.
* The Panthers host the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday (Feb. 9) for another LEC contest. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.
* UMass Boston is off for the weekend, welcoming the same Beacons to town next Wednesday (Feb. 13) at 5:30 p.m.
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