Emerson's double-double leads Panthers to sweep of in-state rivals
KEENE, N.H. – Senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) notched her fifth double-double of the season, matching a career-high with 17 rebounds, to lead Plymouth State University to a 57-52 overtime win over Keene State College in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's basketball game at Spaulding Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
With the win PSU sweeps the season series from the Owls for the first time since the 2002-03 season and improves to 9-11 and 3-9 in the LEC. Keene falls to 3-17 and 1-11 in league play.
The Panthers trailed 42-37 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but used an 11-0 run over the next six minutes to take the lead, and a jumper from senior Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) gave PSU a 48-42 advantage with 3:12 to play. The Keene defense kicked it up a notch from there, limiting the Panthers to just one field goal attempt throughout the remainder of regulation as the Owls chipped away at the lead and sophomore Jordyn Burke (Bennington, Vt.) evened the game at 48-48 in the final minute.
Keene took a one point lead on a free throw one minute into the extra frame, but senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) hit twice from the charity stripe and the Panthers wouldn't trail again. KSC pulled to within three, 54-52, after a three-pointer with 1:49 to go, but PSU scored the final three points of the game to earn the win.
Plymouth State 57, Keene State 52 (OT)
Plymouth State (9-11, 3-9 LEC)
Keene State (3-17, 1-11 LEC)
How it Happened:
* The teams played close through most of the opening quarter, with the Owls holding a slight 9-8 lead with 3:16 left.
* The Panthers closed out the frame with a 6-1 spurt, capped by a Conant jumper, to lead 14-10 at the end of the first quarter.
* Junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) got hot from long range, banging home a pair of triples and Morrill got to the basket to push the lead to seven, 22-15, with three minutes left in the half. It would be the Panthers' largest lead of the game.
* Freshman Brooke Beaudet (Gilford, N.H.) hit from downtown to maintain the seven-point advantage, but the Owls hit twice from the charity stripe to make it a 26-21 game at the half.
* Morrill quickly made it a seven-point game again with her layup to start the third quarter and the teams went back and forth.
* The Owls used an 11-0 run to go ahead 36-32, before Roche stopped the streak with an inside bucket. Emerson nailed a jumper to knot the score at 36-36, before sophomore Tamara Gonyea (Meriden, Conn.) completed an old-fashioned three-point play in the final seconds to give the hosts a 39-36 lead heading to the final ten minutes.
* Gonyea hit from downtown to give KSC its largest lead, 42-37, in the opening minute, but PSU answered with an 11-0 spurt of its own. Conant had four points in the spurt, while Roche drilled her third triple of the game.
* The Owls' defense kicked it up a notch from there, holding the Panthers scoreless over the final 3:12 as the hosts rallied to tie the game at 48-48 with less than a minute to play.
* Gonyea sank a free throw to give Keene a 49-48 lead 56 seconds into the extra frame, but Plymouth State answered with the next six points to pull in front for good.
* The Owls hit from long range to pull within two, 54-52, with 1:49 to go, but Roche immediately answered from inside at the other end and the Panthers forced a turnover on the next KSC possession.
* Trailing 56-52, Keene fired a three that was off the mark and Emerson pulled down her 17th rebound, then sank one-of-two from the line to account for the final score.
Inside the Numbers:
* Emerson's 17 rebounds matched her career high set Nov. 26 at Lasell. Her 7.7 boards per game lead the Panthers and are fifth-most in the LEC. She finished 5-of-8 from the field on the way to her 12 points.
* Roche came off the bench to lead PSU with 15 points and six rebounds, while Conant added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
* Morrill stuffed the stat sheet with six points, six assists and three rebounds.
* Gonyea paced the Owls with 12 points and seven rebounds, while senior Emily McPadden (Tyngsborough, Mass.) added 10 points but shot just 2-of-12 from distance.
* PSU owned a 42-32 advantage on the glass and 24-18 edge on points in the paint. The Panthers' reserves, led by Roche, outscored their counterparts by a 22-12 margin.
* Plymouth State's nine wins are the most since the team went 17-11 during the 2009-10 season, and the team still has five games remaining in the regular season.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"Our composure in the overtime was outstanding," said head coach Allison Flynn. "We played with confidence, we stayed poised and we played together."
* Plymouth State enjoys a lengthy home stretch to wrap up the regular season. The Panthers play their final five games at Foley Gymnasium, starting with a conference match-up against WestConn on Saturday (Feb. 2) at 1:00 p.m.
* The Owls are also back in league play on Saturday (Feb. 2) when they visit Castleton at 1:00 p.m.
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