DANBURY, CT - Senior forward Emily Dobson (Westerly, RI) scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University women's basketball team to a 59-42 victory over visiting Plymouth State University in the Little East Conference Championships quarterfinals at Feldman Arena on Tuesday night.
Joining Dobson, who also pulled down nine rebounds, in double digits in the scoring column was classmate Samantha Smith (Wallingford, CT) who poured in 15 points and gathered seven boards.
Senior Alecia Dulaire (Bloomfield, CT) collected a game-high 10 caroms for the winners.
Kayla Wyland (Melrose, MA) led the Panthers, which end the season with an 8-17 record, with nine points. She grabbed nine rebounds.
Annaliese Schmidt (Newmarket, NH) matched Dulaire with a game-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
The Colonials, now 15-11 and slated to meet LEC regular-season champion Eastern Connecticut State University in the league semifinals on Saturday in Willimantic, avenged last Saturday's 68-64 overtime loss to the Panthers.
"I was thrilled that we were able to come back and play so well against a team that we just fell to three days ago," acknowledged WestConn mentor Kimberley Rybczyk. "We made some changes and came together as a team to play well enough to move onto the semifinals on Saturday."
The top four seed in the tournament all won on Tuesday including the Warriors 74-62 victory over Rhode Island College. Second-ranked Keene State College defeated University of Southern Maine, 71-46 and will face #3 UMass Dartmouth in the other semifinal match up at Geissler Gym. The Corsairs defeated intra-state rival UMass Boston, 67-52 in their quarterfinal meeting tonight.
WestConn and ECSU will battle in one semifinal on Saturday at 5 pm, and the Owls set to face the Corsairs in the other second round match up at 7:30 pm. The LEC Championship game is set for Sunday at 2 pm.
Against the Panthers on Tuesday, WestConn never trailed from the tip. Wyland's layup with 4:52 elapsed in the first quarter deadlocked the contest at 4-4. By the quarter's end, the Colonials led, 14-6.
The Colonials built their lead to 15 points, 34-19 following a bucket in the paint by Kaitlyn LaBonte (South Windsor, CT) with 7:53 remaining in the third stanza.
Plymouth State trimmed its deficit to seven points on two occasions in the quarter the last time at 37-30 with 1:30 left following a jumper from Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, MA).
Smith banked in a running three pointer at the buzzer to give the winners a double-digit advantage, 42-32 with 10 minutes remaining.
The Colonials led by 10 or more points throughout the final period.