January 25, 2014

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL’S LATE RALLY COMES UP SHORT IN 53-52 LOSS AT SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Manchester, N.H. – The Le Moyne College women's basketball team scored the last seven points of the game, but it wasn't enough in falling to Southern New Hampshire University, 53-52, on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action at the SNHU Fieldhouse.

Junior guard Alex Marple (Covington, Pa./Wellsboro) led the Dolphins in the loss with 17 points, 13 of which she scored in the second half. The 17 points snap a streak of four straight games with at least 22 points.

Erin Doherty led four Penmen in double figures with a double-double of 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Lorreta Rocha registered 12 points (nine in the first half) and pulled down eight rebounds, while Sara Ryan scored 11 points and Brooke Springfield had 10 points, five assists and four rebounds.

After Doherty made two free throws with 1:40 left to give the Penmen a 53-45 lead, the Dolphins scored the next seven points around two Southern New Hampshire missed free throws and a turnover. Graduate student guard Kayla Stroman (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy/Niagara) started the run with a pull-up jumper with 1:31 left. After Rocha missed the front end of a "1-and-1" with 1:11 to go, Stroman converted a lay-up with 1:01 to play. After stealing the ball on the defensive end, junior forward Tessa Pucello (Syracuse, N.Y./Solvay) drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it a one-point game with 21 seconds remaining. After Springfield missed the front end of a "1-and-1" with 15 seconds left, the Dolphins had two shots to win the game, but could not connect. Stroman missed on a jump shot with seven ticks left, but Pucello got the rebound and the Dolphins called timeout with 3.8 seconds left. Out of the timeout, Marple had a jumper from just outside the right block, but it came up short and the clock expired before anyone could grab the ball.

Following a three-pointer by senior guard Maddy McKnight (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) to open the game's scoring, Southern New Hampshire scored the next 10 points. Doherty and Rocha each had four of the points, while Ryan had the other two.

Jumpers by McKnight (to end a six-minute scoring drought) and Stroman around a Penmen free throw got the Dolphins within four with 11:39 left, but Southern New Hampshire got lay-ups from Kelly Chergey and Ryan to regain control of the game with 11:02 to go.

After the teams traded points over the next 5:34, resulting in a 19-13 SNHU advantage, then Penmen scored 12 of the half's last 16 points to take a 31-17 lead into halftime. Doherty led the charge with six straight points in the middle, while Springfield, Rocha and Chergey each had two points, while McKnight nailed a three-pointer for the Dolphins.

Following two free throws by Marple and three points by the Penmen to open the second half and give Southern New Hampshire its largest lead of the game, the traded alternated points over the next 10 minutes with SNHU's lead bouncing between 11 and 15 points. Marple had six of Le Moyne's 14 points in the span, while sophomore forward Maggie Brown (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) had four and junior forward Emily Greer (Corry, Pa./Corry) and Pucello each had two. Springfield and Ryan each had four points for the Penmen, while Rocha and Doherty each had two.

After Springfield's jumper with 7:13 left put Southern New Hampshire up 46-33, the Dolphins started their comeback with seven straight points. Marple made a jump shot, Pucello followed with a three-pointer and then junior guard Maddie Hahesy (Erie, Pa./McDowell) scored from the right block with 3:57 left.

The teams then alternated points over the next two minutes to set up Doherty's trip to the foul line with 1:40 left. After Ryan hit a three-pointer and Marple countered with a conventional three-point play, Springfield made two free throws and Stroman answered with a lay-up.

Le Moyne (10-8, 6-6 NE-10), which has dropped seven of its last 10 games, including five of its last eight conference games, returns to action on Tuesday at Stonehill College at 5:30 p.m.