BOSTON, Mass. – The Lasell College wommen's basketball team fended off Wentworth Institute of Technology, 64-61, in non-conference action played at Tansey Gymnasium. The Lasers evened their record at 5-5 for the season while Wentworth dropped to 2-5.
Katie Stopera (Hollis, N.H.) led the Lasers with 21 points and four assists, Molly Lauver (Cambridge, N.Y.) added a season-high 15 points and Alexis Chappell (Springfield, Mass.) finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Lasell shot a season-high 47.9% from the field and 45.5 from distance in the victory.
Leopard senior Kendra Kerr (Marshfield, Mass.) netted a career-high 26 points and became the 10th player in program history to record 1,000 career points. Kerr added nine rebounds and had six steals while Carly Rogers (Scarborough, Maine) had 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the floor and McLaughlin dished out a career-high nine assists.
After Kerr opened the game with a mid-range jumper, Lasell got a pair of free throws from junior Alexis Chappell to even the score, From there the hosts used a 10-3 spurt over the next five and a half minutes and took a 12-5 lead on a Kerr putback with 13:25 left. The Lasers would counter with an 8-0 run and took a 13-12 lead on a Stopera basket with 12:02 left.
Wentworth used an 8-0 run of its own to build its lead back to seven as senior Ashley Stowe (Charlestown, R.I.) scored four points and Kerr and sophomore Carly Rogers had two apiece. A 9-0 Lasell run, capped off by a Stopera basket, gave the Lasers a 22-20 lead with 6:39 left, and, after freshman Kellie Messer (Hollis, N.H.) tied the game at 22-all, Lasell scored nine straight points to take a 31-22 lead with 3:17 left.
Having already scored eight points, on the next possession Kerr drained a 15-foot jumper from the right side to reach the 1,000-point milestone. The Leopards would eventually cut the lead to four on a senior Christine Henry (Tewksbury, Mass.) 3-pointer with 41 seconds left before Lasell took a 37-31 lead into the locker room. The Lasers shot 55.6 percent from the floor over the opening 20 minutes.
The visitors extended their lead back to nine on three separate occasions through the first 8:40 of the second half before Rogers scored four points and Kerr had a steal and a layup to make it a 47-44 game with 9:57 left. Messer hit one of two free throws with 7:41 left to cut the lead to two before Stopera buried a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five with 7:21 left.
A sophomore Megan McLaughlin (Southington, Conn.) jumper and a Rogers layup off of a turnover pulled Wentworth within one at 50-49, however sophomore Molly Lauver and Stopera scored on consecutive possessions to push the lead to five with 3:43 remaining.
Lasell would lead by as many as seven with 2:17 remaining and held a 62-57 lead after Stopera made a pair from the line with 42 ticks left. McLaughlin cut the lead to three, and, after a missed free throw, Kerr made it a one-point game with a basket with 22 seconds left.
Stopera hit two free throws with 14 seconds left to make it a 64-61 game. After the teams traded time outs, Wentworth had one last chance to tie. A pass at the top of the key was deflected, where sophomore Rachael Camara (Fall River, Mass.) picked up the loose ball and had her game-tying attempt rim out as the buzzer sounded.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Lasell travels to Plymouth State and Wentworth hosts Maine-Farmington.