BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Morgan Church (New London, N.H.) had a game-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds to help the Lasell College women's basketball team defeat Wentworth Institute of Technology, 62-54, in the season opener for both squads.
The Lasers took an 8-4 lead with 6:18 left in the first quarter on a jumper from Church before the Leopards used an 8-2 run to take a 12019 lead when sophomore Sam McGibbon (Pembroke, Mass.) made a steal and fed junior Michelle McCloskey (Madison, Conn.) on the fast break. A three-point play with 1:30 left by sophomore Dana Ross (East Haven, Conn.) gave Lasell a 13-12 lead. Sophomore Samantha Madden (Plainville, Mass.) hit a jumper on the next possession to give the Black & Gold the lead back, however, a senior Brianna Hoffman (Derby, Conn.) three late in the quarter gave the visitors a 16-14 lead after one quarter.
Hoffman's three started an 11-6 spurt which gave the Lasers a 27-20 lead after Church scored five straight points. Wentworth came back to within two at 28-26 on a senior Courtney McCormick (Hanson, Mass.) free throw with 1:17 left. The Lasers led, 30-26, at the break.
McGibbon opened the second half by hitting a three to make it 30-29 before Lasell scored the next five points, taking a 35-29 lead on a layup from junior Jamie Caron (Derry, N.H.). Three pointers from freshman Stephanie Mini (Topsfield, Mass.) and McCormick evened the score at 35-all, however Lasell regained the lead on a layup from Ross and eventually took a six-point edge (43-37) late in the quarter.
After Madden made it 43-39 with 8:25 left, Ross followed with a layup, giving Lasell a 45-39 lead. Wentworth battled back and took a 46-45 lead on a Madden three with 5:14 remaining. Two free throws from Church gave the Lasers a 47-46 lead and the Lasers built their lead to four twice before McCormick buried a three with 2:15 left to make it 52-51. A second-chance jumper from Hoffman made it 54-51. Senior Haley Sabino (Topsfield, Mass.) hit one of two free throws to make it 54-52 with 1:27 left, however, Church hit a three and a pair of free throws to extend the lead.
Hoffman finished with 14 points and grabbed five rebounds while Ross finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. Lasell had a 50-29 rebounding advantage for the game.
McCormick led Wentworth with 15 points, followed by Madden who added 11. Sabino and Mini each scored seven points with Sabino also grabbing 10 rebounds.
Wentworth squares off against Dean at Mount Ida on Friday night.
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