Newton, Mass. (02/05/13) - The Lasell College women's basketball team used a pair of free throws from freshman guard Molly Lauver (Cambridge, N.Y.) with 5.7 seconds to play to earn a 63-62 victory over visiting Rivier University. Lasell improved to 9-12 on the season with the victory and 4-6 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action, while Rivier dropped to 13-7 on the year and 7-2 in league play.
Lauver was the high-scorer for Lasell with 15 points, Danielle Autencio (Montville, Conn.) finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Alexis Chappell (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with 13 markers. Senior forward Kim Archibald (Lewiston, Maine) grabbed a team-high 10 boards and added six points.
Sophomore guard Deanna Purcell (Hudson, N.H.) scored a game-high 35 points on 13-25 shooting from the field and 7-8 at the charity stripe to lead the way for Rivier. Purcell reached the 1,000 point mark for her career in the opening minutes on her way to her season-high scoring mark. AJ Guidi was the only other Raider to reach double figures scoring, finishing with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Rivier opened the game with a 6-0 run, on six straight points by Purcell, their biggest lead of the contest. Lasell crept back into the game tying the game at 14-14 on a lay-up by Lauver. Neither team was able to build more than a three point margin the remainder of the opening half and Lasell took a 30-27 lead into the halftime intermission.
The hosts scored the opening basket of the second period to go on top 32-27, but when Rivier scored seven of the game's next nine points to even the game at 34-34, neither team led by more than two possessions the rest of the way.
Eight times over the next 12 minutes of action, Lasell would take a two or four point edge only to see Rivier tie the game. After Rivier tied the game at 54-54 with 4:14 on the clock, a Purcell driving basket at the 3:50 mark gave Rivier their first lead of the half at 56-54.
Rivier went ahead 60-57 with 1:18 remaining in the game on a pair of free throws by Guidi, but a basket by Lasell's Autencio pulled the hosts within one at 60-59. After a turnover by Rivier, Ginelle Cola (Lowell, Mass.) hit a jumper in the paint to give Lasell a 61-60 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
Cola was then whistled for a foul with 16 seconds on the clock, and Purcell knocked down the free throws to put the visitors back on top 62-61. Lasell missed a jumper with 10 seconds remaining, but Lauver stole the outlet pass, and was fouled shooting a pull-up jumper with 5.7 seconds remaining.
Lauver hit the first free throw, and then knocked down the go-ahead charity shot after a Rivier timeout to give Lasell the lead. Purcell saw a jumper at the buzzer come up short giving Lasell the victory.
Lasell will host Keene State on Thursday Feb. 7th in a non-conference contest, while Rivier will host Emmanuel College on Feb. 9th at 7:30 p.m.