NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's basketball team locked up the second seed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament with a 77-63 win over Lasell College on Saturday afternoon at Andrews Gymnasium.
The Cadets improve to 21-4 overall and 8-3 in GNAC play, while the Lasers go to 9-16 overall and 3-8 in conference play. The win clinches a home playoff game on Tuesday, Feb. 24 against No. 7 seed Anna Maria College, who defeated Albertus Magnus, 81-68, Saturday afternoon.
Senior guard Aliah Curry (Windsor, Mass.) tied a season-high 32 points to go along with six rebounds. Senior guard Kelsey Lotti (South Yarmouth, Mass.) produced 11 points, seven assists and eight rebounds and sophomore forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Lasell, which shot just 34.9 percent from the floor and 7-of-23 from behind the arc, was led by junior guard Katie Stopera's (Hollis, N.H.) 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting.
The Cadets held a 33-20 lead at intermission in part because of a three-pointer from Curry at the 9:58 mark sparked a 7-0 run for the 19-10 lead. The Cadets would battle through the half before senior forward Katrina Laidlaw (Dunblane, Scotland) made her first of two free throws to start the 10-0 run in the final minutes that saw back-to-back threes from Kayla Mercer (New Britian, Conn.) and Curry before Curry closed out the frame with a pair of free throws to put the Cadets ahead.
Norwich appeared ready to cruise early in the second half as senior forward Tory Kethro's (Barnstable, Mass.) layup 20 seconds into the opening of the second half gave the Cadets a 15-point advantage. However, Lasell remained poised, delivering a 17-4 run to make a two-point game, trailing 39-37 with 14:11 to play.
The Cadets regrouped and marched on their third run of the game with a 13-2 scoring spree for the 13-point lead, 52-39, before adding on 25 more points to close out the regular season with a 77-63 victory.
Norwich, which had shot 39.4 percent from the floor and went 18-of-19 from the charity stripe, held a 49-35 advantage in rebounds and converted 30 points in the paint, 12 of them on second chances.
Norwich will host Anna Maria College in the GNAC quarterfinals on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Recap courtesy of Norwich University Sports Information