Lyndonville, VT - In a game marked by strong defense and cold shooting, the Northern Vermont University-Lyndon women's basketball team found themselves clinging to a one-point lead at halftime of their North Atlantic Conference contest against the University of Maine at Presque Isle. With the Ows still within striking distance in the fourth quarter the host Hornets manufactured a closing 11-2 run to come away with a 54-38 win. Lyndon improves to 11-8 on the year and 6-3 in NAC play, while UMPI falls to 7-13 and 2-8 in conference.
The two teams battled on even terms in the early going, with the Owls getting a Kendra Slivers' layup at the buzzer leaving things deadlocked at 12 to 12 after one quarter. The second quarter saw five lead changes, with a pair of Tayler Courchesne free throws for Lyndon sending the Hornets into halftime with a slim 22-21 advantage. Despite leading scorer Rhylee Wright only playing 5 minutes in the 1st half due to foul trouble and starter Hunter Mercier missing the game due to an ailing knee, the Owls battled the Host Hornets all afternoon.
Lyndon was able to maintain the lead throughout the third quarter. The Hornets led 32-29 with just over four mintues to go in the session. They were able to hold the Owls scoreless the rest of the period. Meanwhile Alisha Celley converted one of two free throws, then Lea Crompton scored on a driving layup and found Lauren Young for another score, sending Lyndon into the final quarter with a 37-29 lead.
The Owls wouldn't go away quietly in the fourth quarter, with a three-pointer from Rhylee Wright (Jr. Frenchville, ME) pulling them to within 43-36 with just under six minutes remaining. That set the stage for the Hornets' closing run, which was fueled by six points from Alissa Mitchell.
Wright was the only player in double figures for the Owls, tallying a game high 15 points along with 6 rebouns and 2 blocked shots. Marissa Valdivia Reagle (So. Seattle, WA) scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and had 3 assists and 3 steals. Kendra Silvers (So. North Berwick, ME) added 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals for UMPI.
Mitchell and Crompton shared scoring honors for the Hornets, each finishing with 14 points. Crompton also pulled in nine rebounds and handed out three assists, while Mitchell, who was an efficient 5/8 from the floor, also recorded five rebounds, five blocks, four assists, and three steals. Celley pulled down a game high 13 rebounds for Lyndon.
Both teams struggled to find the range in the contest. Lyndon connected on only 19 of 70 (27.1%) shots and only two of 23 (8.7%) from beyond the three-point arc. Meanwhile, UMPI didn't fare any better, converting only 16 of 56 (28.6%) attempts, and only two of 13 (15.4%) from distance. Lyndon had a 50-39 advantage on the glass and forced 19 Owl turnovers while giving it up 12 times themselves.
Next up: UMPI will next play on Wednesday evening when they host Maine Maritime Academy in a conference contest. Tip-off is set for 7:30PM in Wieden Hall Gymnasium..