McNally's Near Triple-Double Leads Owls

(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) -- Mark down the University of Maine-Presque Isle women's basketball team as believers in the sports adage "it's tough to beat a team three times in one season."  The Owls accomplished just that on Sunday after defeating a very game Fisher College squad, 77-66.

With the victory, the Owls are now 7-14 on the season while the Falcons fall to 1-21.

The tone was set early for a wild game when Presque Isle opened by scoring the first 9 points only for Fisher to come out of their timeout and score the game's next 11.  Randi Kaplan (So./Embden, ME) then hit a 3-pointer to start a 10-1 run to get the lead back for the Owls.

But that does not mean that the Falcons would lay down.  Javana Bernard (Waterbury, CT) made sure of that.  Showing an array of circus shots including a near 30-foot, fading, three-pointer as the shot clock struck zero during a possession in the 2nd half, Bernard scored 30 points and at times was seemingly single-handedly keeping her Falcons in the game.

The Owls led by 7 at halftime; the Falcons cut it to 2 at 40-38.

The Owls stretch the lead out to 48-40; the Falcons tie it up at 49-49 and 51-51.

Finally Presque Isle forged some breathing room thanks to an Amanda Hotham (Fr./Fort Fairfield, ME) jumper followed by an Emily Pelletier (Sr./Fort Kent, ME) three-pointer put them up 60-53.

Scoring came fast and furious at that point as the team's then combined to make nine of the next ten shot attempts from the floor.  That run ended the way it began, with a Pelletier three, this one putting the Owls up 71-62 with 1:51 remaining.

Pelletier and Olivia McNally (Jr./Sherman, ME) went 4-4 from the free throw line in the last minute to seal the hard fought win.

McNally picked a good day to have one of her best games as an Owl.  The 5'5 guard scored 18 points on 8-13 shooting, dished out 9 assists, and pulled down 8 rebounds.

Overall, the Presque Isle well-balanced attack featured four players in double figures.  Along with McNally's 18, Pelletier scored 13 (10 in the last 4:52 of the game), Kaplan was perfect from the free throw line AND 3-point range (2-2 from each) to score 10, and Doni Yendriga (Fr./Conneaut, ME) had 10 points to go along with her 10 rebounds. 

The star city cagers will get a few days to prepare for their home finale against UMaine-Fort Kent on Thursday.  Gametime is set for 5:30pm.  Thursday will be Senior Day.  The Owls will pay tribute to their lone senior, Emily Pelletier, in a brief pregame ceremony.

 

Game Notes

*  Coming into today's action, the Owls had defeated Fisher twice already this season:  back on January 4th in Massachusetts (56-44) and on January 12th at the Star City Classic (80-47).

*  After the game, McNally was named the Bradley's Citgo and Car Wash "Player of the Game."  Possibly just as impressive as her 9 assists was the fact that they were offset by only 1 turnover.

*  Sunday's win completed a 2-0 weekend for the Owls.  They defeated Eastern Maine CC, 54-35 on Saturday in a make-up game from a January 16th snow out.

*  McNally, who was averaging less than 4 rebounds a game coming into the weekend, pulled down 19 boards in two games this weekend.

*  Yendriga enjoyed playing Fisher this season.  In 3 games against the Falcons, the 6'0 freshman averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds.  Both of her double-doubles this season have come against Fisher.