NEWTON, Mass. (2/7/15) – Johnson and Wales University took a 62-52 victory against Lasell College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball battle Saturday afternoon in the Lasell College Athletic Center. The loss sets the Lasers back to 6-14 (1-6 GNAC), while the Wildcats climb to 12-9 and break 500 in conference play at 4-3.
Junior guard Katie Stopera (Hollis, N.H.) led all players with 20 points and 12 rebounds, registering her seventh double-double of the season. Freshman forward Breanna Cashman (Norwich, N.Y.) chipped in with 11 points and five boards.
For the Wildcats, freshmen guard Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, R.I.) and center Ashley Thompson (Bellingham, Mass.) added 16 points and 14 points, respectively. Pederzani went 6-13 overall, going 3-6 from behind the arc.
The visitors used a deep three from Pederzani and pair of layups from Thompson to jump to an early 7-0 lead against Lasell. The Wildcats held the lead until freshman guard Morgan Church (New London, N.H.) scored on a layup to knot the game at 14 all. However, the blue and yellow answered with an 11-0 run on the hosts to bump the score up to 25-14. Lasell chipped away at the deficit until halftime, and headed into the locker room trailing 31-24 after a crucial three-pointer from Stopera.
The Lasers started the second stanza with a 7-0 run via a pair of free throws from Cashman and junior forward Breeana Williams (Bloomfield, Conn.), and two Stopera layups. At 14:33, sophomore guard Sherilyn Small (Springfield, Mass.) gave the Lasers their first and only lead of the game at 34-33. Wildcats' junior guard Savannah Kresege (Ellington, Conn.) rallied back with two consecutive three pointers to pull the visitors up by three, 39-36.
With 7:20 on the clock, Stopera knocked down two from the charity stripe to trial the visitors by just one point. The Wildcats answered the challenge with back-to-back three-pointers from Pederzani and senior guard Kaitlin Kenney (Branford, Conn.) to push their lead 47-42. Johnson and Wales took the lead into the final minutes of the game, ending with a final score of 62-52.
Both teams return to action at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 10. The Lasers will travel to Pine Manor College for a non-conference matchup, while the Wildcats hosts Simmons College for a GNAC tilt.