PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- Senior Jess Conant’s (Canton, Maine) jumper with six seconds remaining in the second overtime period lifted Plymouth State to an 89-87 Little East Conference women’s basketball victory over UMass Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium.
In a game that saw 15 ties and 23 lead changes, Conant provided the final heroics of the day for the host Panthers (10-13, 4-11 LEC) with a mid-range jumper, as Plymouth State forced the extra sessions after freshman Brooke Beaudet (Gilford, N.H.) canned a three-pointer with 30 seconds to play in regulation. The visiting Corsairs (19-4, 12-2 LEC), who saw their nine-game winning streak snapped in the setback, missed a pair of potential game-winning jumpers in the final seven seconds of action, but UMass Dartmouth took a 77-75 edge with 3:23 to play in the first overtime on junior Kayla McMahon’s (Hanover, Mass.) lay-in. Conant evened matters on a lay-in and later converted a pair of free throws to give the Panthers a two-point lead, and the hosts grabbed an 80-77 advantage with six seconds left on freshman Maysen Tyler’s (Bridge City, Tex.) free throw only to see senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) second the contest to a second extra session for the Corsairs on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The two squads again traded the lead in the final five minute period, as freshman Shaelyn Carreiro’s (Fall River, Mass.) free throw with 2:02 remaining evened the contest for the final time at 87 for UMass Dartmouth and set up Conant’s heroics, as the visitors missed a potential game-tying jumper and turned the ball over as time expired.
The Corsairs held a 42-36 advantage at the break on the strength of 13 points from McMahon, but Plymouth State outscored UMass Dartmouth by a 25-15 margin in the third stanza on 20 combined points from Conant, senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) and junior Brittany Roche (Londonderry, N.H.). The visitors regained a six-point lead (72-66) with 3:47 to go in regulation to set up the hosts’ late drama, as the Panthers’ snapped a 16-game series winless streak at the hands of the Corsairs dating back to December 2010.
Conant finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the triumph for Plymouth State, which received 21 points and three blocks from Roche along with 16 points, seven assists, six steals and five boards from Morrill. Senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) chipped in with 10 points for the Panthers, who shot 48 percent (29-60) from the field overall and 50 percent (12-24) from behind the arc.
McMahon finished with 20 points and six rebounds in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which received a double-double effort of 20 points and 14 boards from senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.). Junior Ashley Brown (New Bedford, Mass.) added 19 points, seven caroms and five steals for the Corsairs, who 12 points and five rebounds from Korzec. Sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) collected seven points and seven boards for the visitors, who shot 36 percent (28-77) from the floor and held a 54-42 rebounding advantage but hurt themselves with 28 turnovers.
UMass Dartmouth heads into Boston on Wednesday evening for a Little East Conference clash with UMass Boston that tips-off at 5:30 pm, while Plymouth State entertains Southern Maine in a Little East outing on Wednesday evening at Foley Gymnasium that also tips-off at 5:30 pm.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '19)