NEWTON, Mass. – Seniors Morgan Church (New London, N.H.) and Brianna Hoffman (Milford, N.H.) wrapped up their collegiate careers in fine fashion Saturday afternoon, combining for 45 points and leading Lasell College to an 81-70 victory over cross-town rival Mount Ida College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball contest at the Mount Ida Athletic Center.
Church scored a game-high 26 points, draining 10-of-18 field goal attempts and 3-of-5 shots from three-point range while adding three rebounds and seven assists. Hoffman shot 50 percent from the field (7-of-14) and drained 5-of-9 from beyond the arc to match her career-high with 19 points. Sophomore Jaime Caron (Derry, N.H.) chipped in with seven points and a team-high 12 rebounds for the winners.
The two seniors helped Lasell end the season on a winning note, finishing with a 5-20 overall record and a 3-13 mark in the GNAC. Mount Ida winds up the regular season with a 13-12 overall mark and a 6-10 record in conference play, and will begin play in the GNAC Tournament Tuesday as the eighth seed.
Sophomore Valerie Martin (Derry, N.H.) led all players with 30 points and 12 rebounds for Mount Ida. Senior Patricia Liotta (Hampton Bays, N.Y.) added 12 points for the Mustangs, the only other player to score in double digits.
The first quarter was a one- or two-possession game most of the way, with Lasell leading 18-15 after the first 10 minutes. The Lasers pulled ahead by eight points (23-15) early in the second quarter, sparked by a three-pointer by freshman Megan Sears (Westminster, Mass.). The lead reached nine points with 3:45 on the clock after a Hoffman three-pointer, and Lasell took an eight-point margin (39-31) into the intermission.
After Mount Ida pulled to within four points in the third quarter (39-35), Lasell started to pull away. Hoffman hit back-to-back baskets, including a three-pointer, to push the margin to 11 points (46-35), and a three-pointer by junior Taylor Hughey (Redding, Calif.) gave the Lasers a 13-point bulge, 58-45, with 1:48 on the clock. Lasell took a 62-51 lead into the fourth quarter.
A Church three-pointer in the first minute of the final frame gave Lasell a 15-point lead (66-51), but Mount Ida responded with 10 unanswered points to whittle the margin back to five points with just over five minutes remaining. The Mustangs got to within four points (71-67) with three minutes to go, but Church made a jumper and Hoffman followed with a three to push the lead back up to nine (76-67) a minute later and Lasell held on down the stretch.
Church finished her four-year Lasell career with 939 career points, making 75 three-pointers, while Hoffman winds up her three-year Lasell career with 566 points, including 101 three-pointers.
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