Johnson, VT - The UMPI Women's Basketball Team found themselves trailing by six points 38 to 32 at the half in the second game of a two game weekend series at Northern Vermont Johnson University. The Badgers came out energized in their "Senior Game" and were hot from the 3 point line in the first 20 minutes of play. NV-Johnson shot 47% from inside the arc and connected on 7 of 14 from behind the 3 point line in the opening half.
A Sarah Musselman (Fr. Turlock, CA) layup at the 5:07 mark of the 1st quarter knotted the game at 8 to 8 and a Hunter Mercier 3 pointer from deep, two minutes later, would give UMPI an 11 to 10 lead. A steal by Marissa Valdivia-Reagle followed by a feed from Musselman to Kendra Silvers for a jumper put the Owls ahead 13 to 10. Mercier would connect on another 3 pointer later in the quarter to give Me-Presque Isle a 19 to 15 advantage but UMPI would not score again in the period and a jumper from the Badgers Kaitlyn Brouard would close out the scoring with the Owls up 19 to 17.
Brouard would score on a drive to open the 2nd quarter and she would drain a 3 pointer a minute later to put the home team ahead 22 to 21. Emmy Churchill (Jr. Washburn, ME) would hit a 3 pointer from the left corner just inside the 8:00 mark but the Badgers Mariah Ramos would come back quickly and tie the game at 24 when she knocked down a 17 foot jump shot. Ramos would make two free throws and Mary Richardson would nail a 3 pointer to put NVU up 29 to 24. A Lindsey LaPerle 3 pointer and 1 of 2 foul shots would give the Badgers their largest lead 35 to 26 with under two minutes remaining in the half. Sarah Musselman would score on a drive and Rhylee Wright would score on two jumpers in the lane as UMPI trailed by six points at intermission.
NVU's Ramos would open the 2nd half connecting on a long 3 pointer for a 41 to 32 lead before Wright would get fouled and make both free throws. UMPI changed up defensively and started applying fullcourt pressure and Wright would score again and then make 1 of 2 free throws to cut the deficit to four points. A steal by Churchill and a fastbreak layup by Marissa Valdivia-Reagle (So. Seattle, WA) would tie the game at 41 at the 6:41 mark of the 3rd quarter. Reagle fed Hunter Mercier (Fr. Fairfield, ME) for a deep 3 pointer to put the Owls up 44 to 41 and then Mercier would drill another 3 pointer for a 47 to 41 lead. Two foul shots by Kendra Silvers (So. North Berwick, ME) and a free throw by Reagle had the Owls up by 9 points. Two Paige Christie free throws brought the Badgers back to within three points 50 to 47 before Mercier would close out the 3rd quarter scoring with another 3 pointer and 53 to 47 advantage.
LaPerle would open the final frame with a jumper for the Badgers to cut the lead to 53 to 49 before UMPI would go on a run on an Emmy Churchill 3 point basket on an assist from Mercier, followed by a Rhylee Wright score on a dish from Musselman. Me-Presque Isle would grab its first double digit lead of the 2nd half on two made foul shots and a score inside by Wright. Wright connected on a short jumper to put UMPI up 64 to 49 with 6:27 left in the game and the Owls maintained their lead to the final buzzer.
"We talked about picking up our defensive intensity during our halftime break and the Team responded very well," said UMPI Head Coach Gavin Kane. "We got contributions from all of our players. I liked the way Sarah Musselman controlled our offense from the point and Rhylee Wright was able to control the inside. Hunter and Emmy hit some big perimeter shots and Marissa's aggressiveness defensively can really get us going. I'm very pleased with our overall effort and focus all weekend from our entire team which isn't always easy on back to back road games."
Junior center Rhylee Wright led UMPI with 29 points and 9 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play. Freshman Hunter Mercier scored 15 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and 3 assists while Reagle had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals. Sarah Musselman added 6 points, pulled down 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists and Churchill scored 6 points and recorded 4 assists.
Mariah Ramos paced the NV-Johnson with 22 poins and 12 rebounds and Kaitlyn Brouard added 15 points and and 9 boards.
Next up: The Owls will host UMFK Tuesday night February 12th at 7:30 PM.