NEWTON, Mass. (11/23/13) – The Lasell College women's basketball team dropped a double overtime thriller to the visiting Bison of Nichols College, 70-68 on Saturday afternoon. The Lasers dropped to 2-3 on the year, while Nichols remained perfect at 4-0 for the season.
Kayla Vincelette (Westport, Mass.) scored a team-high 16 points for Lasell, while Danielle Autencio (Montville, Conn.) added 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds and Alexis Chappell (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in 12 points and seven boards. Katie Stopera (Hollis, N.H.) finished with five points and a team-best eight assists while Breeana Williams (Bloomfield, Conn.) contributed eight points and five caroms off the bench.
Amber Litwinko (Berlin, Conn.) posted a game-high 23 points along with seven rebounds to pace Nichols College. Devon Spirka (Wilmington, Vt.) finished with a near triple-double effort with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Bison and Sarah Whitestone (Dalton, Mass.) and Kasey Pelletier (Dunstable, Mass.) added 12 and 10 points respectively.
The Lasers jumped out to an early lead behind six points from Kayla Vincelette to go ahead 10-2 just five minutes into the game. A Spirka layup stopped the Lasers run momentarily, but the hosts scored the next eight points to lead 18-4 with 11:24 remaining in the first half.
A pair of free throws by Chappell and a free throw from Autencio put Lasell in front 28-9 with just five minutes left in the opening half, but Nichols started to find the range and chip away at the Lasell lead. Nichols score the next 11 points to trim the Lasers lead to 28-20 before a layup by Autencio in the final seconds of the half put Lasell in front 30-20 at the half.
Through the opening ten minutes of play in the second stanza Nichols would cut into the hosts lead, but Lasell would recover, leading by eight at 40-32 with 11:29 left in the game. The Bison cut the Lasers lead to two points, 46-44 with 5:29 left in the game on a layup by Litwinko, then following a stop on the defensive end of the floor took their first lead since the opening minute on a three pointer by Litwinko. Lasells' Vincelette and Nichols' Whitestone each traded baskets twice leaving Nichols with a 51-50 lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Litwinko drove baseline and was followed making a short jumper with 2:30 to play to give Nichols a four point cushion at 54-50. A basket by the Lasers' Chappell cut the lead to 54-52 with 2:13 on the clock.
Neither team was able to convert over the next minute and a half of action, and Devon Spirka made one out of two at the line with 24 seconds remaining to give the visitors a 55-52 lead. Spirka missed the second free throw but grabbed her own rebound and was fouled again with 14 seconds remaining. Spirka missed the front end of the one-and-one and Autencio was fouled on the rebound, sending her to the line at the other end of the floor for Lasell. Autencio knocked down both shots to leave Lasell trailing 55-54 with 10 seconds on the clock. Spirka again converted one out of two at the line to give Nichols a 56-54 lead with 9.5 left in the contest.
Lasell pushed the ball up the floor, finding Chappell underneath for a game-tying layup with 1.7 seconds remaining and Nichols was unable to get a shot off, sending the game into overtime tied at 56.
Lasell jumped out to an early lead in the extra time behind an offensive rebound put-back by Molly Lauver (Cambridge, N.Y.) and a Lauver three pointer to take a 61-56 lead with three minutes to play in the overtime. An offensive rebound by Kasey Pelletier gave Nichols some extra life as Pelletier was fouled by Chappell, earning a pair of free throws and sending Chappell to the bench with her fifth foul. Nichols responded with an 8-2 run to take a 64-63 lead with under a minute to play in overtime. Sammy Long (Staten Island, N.Y) grabbed a Lasell miss and was fouled, draining a pair to put Lasell in front 65-64 with 25.6 seconds left. Amber Litwinko was fouled on the ensuing Nichols possession and made one of two free throws to tie the game at 65-65 and after a Lasell miss at the buzzer the game headed into the second extra period.
Breeana Williams made a pair of free throws in the second overtime to put Lasell in front 67-65 and Nichols responded with a pair of their own by Alexis Wegrzynek (Wilbraham, Mass.) when she was fouled by Williams, sending Williams to the bench with her fifth foul as well.
Long made one out of two with 2:42 remaining in the second overtime to put Lasell in front 68-67, the Pelletier was fouled for Nichols and also split a pair at the charity stripe, tying the game at 68-68 with two and a half to play.
A Pelletier free throw with 1:44 left gave Nichols a 69-68 lead, and following a pair of empty possessions for Lasell, Pelletier made another free throw with five seconds remaining before a last second heave by Lasell fell short.
Nichols will return action on Tuesday November 26th at 5:00 p.m. when they look to win their fifth straight on the road at Anna Maria College. Lasell will return to the hardwood on Tuesday November 26th when they host Western New England University in a 5:30 p.m. tilt.