Earle leads Panthers to non-conference victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Bella Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) scored a team-high 15 points in her first career start and Plymouth State University led throughout the second half to top Rivier University, 62-50, in a non-conference women's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
Rivier got off to a hot start from beyond the arc, but Plymouth State weathered the storm and took a one-point lead at the end of the first. The Panthers outscored Rivier 21-12 in the second quarter to build a 35-25 halftime advantage and PSU kept the Raiders at bay throughout the second half.
With the win, Plymouth State improves to 3-1 on the year, while Rivier drops its fourth straight game to drop to 1-5.
Plymouth State 62, Rivier 50
Plymouth State (3-1)
How it Happened.
- Rivier started the game on fire, nailing each of the team's first three three-point attempts to take an 11-4 lead after 3:22 of action.
- Senior Brittney Roche (Londonderry, N.H.) sank her first triple to pull the Panthers to within 11-10 and after a Rivier basket, Roche's steal led to a breakaway layup by Earle with less than a minute left in the quarter.
- After a Raiders' missed shot, PSU pushed the tempo and Earle was able to score to give PSU a 14-13 lead at the end of one.
- The teams traded baskets, but Earle hit from downtown and moments later freshman Autumn Nelson (Weare, N.H.) followed suit to make it 24-18.
- Sophomore Sydney Lessard (Auburn, N.H.) answered from deep for Rivier, and two minutes later she completed an old-fashioned three-point play to pull the visitors to within one, 26-25, with three minutes left in the half.
- PSU followed with three straight triples to make it a 35-25 advantage at the half.
- Plymouth State pushed the lead to 12 multiple times to start the third quarter, but Rivier pulled to within 43-36 from the free throw line as PSU picked up multiple fouls.
- The Panthers answered with a 10-2 spurt, sparked by six points from freshman Jalen Cook (Monkton, Vt.) to close the quarter with a 53-38 lead.
- The hosts maintained a double digit lead throughout the fourth quarter.
Inside the Numbers:
- Earle led the team in scoring for a third straight game, finishing with 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while adding five rebounds.
- Cook chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench, while senior Chenysse Hill (Lynn, Mass.) added 11 points five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
- Lessard led the Raiders with 17 points, while sophomore Alexandra Grumblatt (Manchester, N.H.) pulled down 20 rebounds.
- PSU scored 25 points off Rivier turnovers, while the Panthers' bench outscored its counterparts by a 26-9 margin.
Inside the Numbers:
"We faced a lot of difficulties this game," said interim head coach Leah Swanson. "We tried to do a couple new things defensively to see how we could work with them, so obviously we have a few things to work on still, but we're moving forward."
- Plymouth State heads to Suffolk for a non-conference tilt on Saturday (Nov. 23) at 1:00 p.m.
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