42-Point Second Half Helps Owls Erase Early Deficit

(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) --  Playing on short rest, the University of Maine-Presque Isle women's basketball team overcame a slow start before blitzing the visiting Moose from UMaine-Augusta in the 2nd half en route to a 66-55 victory in Wieden Gym on Saturday afternoon.

The victory made Presque Isle winners of 5 of their last 7 and improved its record to 5-10.  Augusta, who entered Saturday's action ranked #10 in the latest USCAA Division II Coaches' Poll, dropped to 9-7. 

Back on the court less than 18 hours after playing USCAA #1 Daemen College last night, one could almost forgive the Owls for being sluggish out of the gate.  Augusta did not fall into that category though as they ran Presque Isle up and down the court early, jumping out to a 9-1 lead.  The Moose then were able to keep a comfortable cushion the rest of the half while building a 12-point lead, 27-15, with two minutes remaining.

Just before the deficit could get out of hand, the Owls seemed to awaken from their slumber.  Down 29-17 and running out of time in the half, Emily Pelletier (Sr./Fort Kent, ME) and Randi Kaplan (So./Embden, ME) each hit 3-pointers to spark a 7-0 run before the break.

With the deficit a more manageable 5 heading into the final 20 minutes, the Owls kept their foot on the gas pedal.  Doni Yendriga (Fr./Conneaut, OH) started a 12-2 run by scoring the first six points of the 2nd half and turning a five point deficit into a six-point lead, 37-31.

UMA did not wilt away from the challenge, however, pulling back to within 1 on three separate occasions, but never regaining the lead.  The last time they got that close was after an Allyssa Marson (Augusta, ME) jumper pulled them to within 47-46.  Showing their resiliance one more time, the Owls rattled off the game's next 9 points to go up 10 at 4:29.  

The trio of Pelletier, Olivia McNally (Jr./Sherman, ME), and Amanda Hotham (Fr./Fort Fairfield, ME) went 8-8 from the free throw line in the game's final minute to seal the victory.

Arreonte Lee (San Antonio, TX) led the Moose with 23 points.  Marson reached double figures with 12 on 5-19 shooting.

McNally led a balanced Presque Isle scoring attack with 17 points.  Pelletier chipped in 13, Randi Kaplan (So./Embden, ME) dropped 12 on 3-4 shooting from long range, and Hotham contributed 12 from the bench.

The Owls will get a day off before completing a three-games-in-four-days stretch when they will host Eastern Nazerene (MA) on Monday, January 21st.  That game will have a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day start time of 12pm.

 

Game Notes

*  Saturday's win for Presque Isle avenges a 70-58 loss suffered at the hands of the Moose back on December 3rd.  The two teams also split a pair of games last season.

*  McNally was named the Bradley's Citgo and Car Wash "Player of the Game".  In addition to her 17 points, she added 5 rebounds and 3 assists to only 1 turnover is 35 minutes of play.

*  Bolstered by an 8-10 performance from the free throw line on Saturday, Hotham is now leading the team with 50 free throw attempts on the season and is hitting at a 76% clip (38-50).

*  The Owls' 50% 3-pt percentage vs. UMA (6-12) matches their game-high mark for season that was set back on January 12th when they hit 8-16 vs. Fisher College.