NEWTON,MA- The Lasers got off to a strong start against Westfield State on Thursday night, with an early run that gave Lasell a 6-0 lead at the 15:57 mark. A Janae Jones (Springfield,MA/Springfield) layup put the Owls on the board for the first time. Seconds later Jen Ashton (Beverly, MA/Beverly) sunk a trey to bring the score to 6-5.
The visitors took their first lead of the game, at 8:35. On Lasell's next possession though, Danielle Autencio (Montville,CT/Montville) answered with a layup and added the extra point with a made foul shot. Jones tied the game up again just after the eight minute mark to bring the score to 13-all. Back to back buckets gave the Owls a six point lead over the Lasers with six and a half minutes remaining before the half.
The lead changed a total of seven times in the first half, but the Lasers were able to hold on to a 25-21 lead going into the break. Westfield's Angela Paterson (Nantucket,MA/Nantucket) led all scorers in the first half with ten points, she also grabbed four rebounds for the Owls. Lasell was led by Alysa O'Neill (Johnston, RI/Johnston) who had a total of seven points and nine rebounds in the half. The Lasers shot 32.3% from the field compared to Westfield's 20.5%.
Westfield came out hot in the second half and opened with an 8-1 run over the first three minutes of the second stanza. The Owls extended their lead to seven after a Jones trey at 12:31. At 9:29, Taevosha Rentas (Spingfield, MA/SABIS Charter) hit a left handed hook shot off of a pass from Justine Ryan (Norwood, MA/Norwood), to bring the Lasers within four, at 41-37.
Unfortunately, Lasell was unable to gain any more ground on the Owls and trailed by as much as 17 with two and a half minutes left in the game. The Lasers ended up down by 11 and the game ended with a final score of 57-46.
Lasell's Autencio led all players with 15 total points and nine rebounds, while shooting 100%, 9 for 9 from the free throw line. O'Neill tallied a career high and game high 14 rebounds, nine defensive and five offensive. Ashton and Jones led the Owls with 14 and 13 points respectively. While Gabby Felix(Springfield/Commerce) added 11 rebounds in the victory.
Westfield shot 28.8% from the field in the game while Lasell shot a close 27.5%. The Owls play next, this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. vs Salve Regina. The Lasers will travel to Gordon College on Saturday for a non-conference match up at 1:00 p.m.