PSU Women’s Basketball stuns league-leading UMass Dartmouth

PSU Women’s Basketball stuns league-leading UMass Dartmouth

Conant, Morrill lead Panthers to double-OT win

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Seniors Jess Conant (Canton, Maine) and Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) combined for seven points in double overtime as Plymouth State University shocked Little East Conference (LEC) regular season champions University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 89-87, in a thrilling contest at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

            In a game that saw 15 ties and 23 lead changes and no team holding a lead of more than six points throughout, Conant swished a fade-away jumper from five feet out to put the Panthers ahead, 89-87, with five seconds left in the second overtime. The Corsairs had a shot to send the game to a third overtime, but the shot rolled off the rim. After a tie-up on the rebound, UMD had one last chance with 0.6 seconds remaining, but junior Chenysse Hill (Lynn, Mass.) deflected the inbounds pass and the clock expired.

            Both teams needed clutch three-pointers at the buzzer for the game to get that far. PSU trailed 75-72 with less than 25 seconds in regulation, when freshman Brooke Beaudet (Gilford, N.H.) came off the bench to swish a three in the right corner, and the Panthers led 80-77 with just six seconds left in the first OT, but senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) carried the ball up court and nailed a three on the right wing as time expired.

            The Corsairs had won each of the last 16 meetings, dating back to Dec. 2010. With the win the Panthers snap UMD's nine-game winning streak to improve to 10-13 and 4-11 in the LEC, while the Corsairs drop to 19-4 and 12-2 in conference play.


            The Basics:

            Plymouth State 89, UMass Dartmouth 87 (2OT)


            Plymouth State (10-13, 4-11 LEC)

            UMass Dartmouth (19-4, 12-2 LEC)


            How it Happened:

            * The teams got off to a slow start during a foul-filled first quarter. Junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) hit back-to-back triples, one from straight on and one from the left wing, to give PSU an 8-6 lead midway through the quarter.

            * The Corsairs came right back with a 10-2 spurt, with junior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.) accounting for five points, to jump in front, 16-10, with a minute left in the quarter.

            * Conant sank a pair of free throws, and senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) got inside to pull the Panthers' to within 18-14 after one.

            * UMD went back up by six early in the second, but Plymouth State scored the next seven points, capped by another Roche triple, to pull in front, 21-20, and then Roche added her fourth three of the half a minute later.

            * Sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) pushed the visitors lead to 36-32 with a layup with 3:09 in the half, and junior Ashley Brown (New Bedford, Mass.) made it a 42-36 advantage with her three just before the buzzer.

            * Plymouth State came out determined to start the second half. Roche nailed two more triples and Morrill hit from downtown as the Panthers went in front, 51-46, after the first 3:14.

            * Morrill's layup in the final seconds gave PSU a 61-57 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

            * UMass Dartmouth used an 8-2 spurt to grab the lead, 65-63, in the opening minutes of the fourth. The teams went back-and-forth until seven straight Corsairs' points gave the visitors a 72-66 advantage with 3:47 remaining.

            * UMD went up 74-71 with 48 seconds to play after junior Ashley Brown (New Bedford, Mass.) sank a free throw and the Corsairs held a 75-72 lead with 32 seconds left. The visitors had a chance to put the game away, but a missed free throw followed by a lane violation gave PSU the ball in a one-possession game.

            * Beaudet came in and calmly drained a corner three to tie the game and UMD was unable to hit on their final two shot attempts.

            * The teams traded layups to open the first overtime and Conant sank a pair from the charity stripe for a 79-77 lead with two minutes remaining.

            * Both teams went scoreless for the next 1:54, until freshman Maysen Tyler (Bridge City, Texas) hit a free throw to put PSU ahead 80-77 with six seconds to go.

            * After a defensive rebound, Korzec ran down the right side, then pulled up to nail a game-tying three as the time expired.

            * Morrill hit from long range to open the second overtime, but UMD would answer with four straight to go in front. Roche sank a pair, but the Corsairs hit from close range to lead 86-85 with three minutes to play.

            * Conant put Plymouth back in front with two free throws, and UMD went one-of-two from the line to tie the game at 87-87 with two minutes to go.

            * PSU inbounded to Morrill with 13 seconds to play, and she drove along the baseline before feeding Conant at the low blocks for the game-winner.


            Inside the Numbers:

            * Conant led all scorers with 22 points and finished a perfect 10-of-10 from the line. She added nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

            * Roche came off the bench for a season-best 21 points, including a career-high six three-pointers, while Morrill added 16 points (4-of-5 from long range), five rebounds, seven assists and six steals.

            * UMass Dartmouth was led by senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.), who posted a 20-point, 14-rebound double-double. McMahon added 20 points and six rebounds, while Brown chipped in with 19 points, seven boards and five steals.

            * PSU shot 48.3% from the field and made 12-of-24 from beyond the arc.

            * UMD owned a 54-42 edge on the glass and outscored the Panthers by a 40-12 margin in the paint, but the PSU bench outscored its counterparts by a 39-16 margin.


            Straight from the Coach's Mouth:

            "UMass Dartmouth is a great team," said head coach Allison Flynn. "Before the game we talked about being physical and playing smart and we did that. The resiliency of this team … knowing we aren't making playoffs, but are working as hard as we were in October, just shows the tremendous growth of the program."


            Up Next:

            * Plymouth State welcomes Southern Maine to Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday (Feb. 13) for its Senior Day game. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

            * UMass Dartmouth heads to in-state rival UMass Boston on Wednesday (Feb. 13) for a 5:30 p.m. tilt.




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