NASHUA, N.H. – After starting the season with a program-best four consecutive victories, the Lasell University women's basketball team suffered a 72-57 defeat to the University of Maine Farmington Saturday afternoon at Rivier University's Muldoon Gymnasium.
The verdict was the second half of the GNAC-NAC Challenge, matching schools from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference and the North Atlantic Conference. Lasell (4-1) defeated UMaine Presque Isle in the opener on Friday night. UMF, which defeated Rivier on Friday, improves to 2-2.
Senior Amanda Ortiz (Newton, Mass.) continued her hot hand for Lasell, scoring at least 20 points for the fourth straight outing to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team. She added a career-high 16 rebounds to her 20 points, along with three blocked shots and two steals. Senior D'Asia Allen (Providence, R.I.) finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, and junior Precious Montgomery (Bridgeport, Conn.) chipped in with 10 points and six boards.
The Beavers had five players finish in double figures in scoring, led by junior McKenna Brodeur (Oakland, Maine) who had 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting to earn Tournament Most Valuable Player. Junior Alex Bessey (Jay, Maine) and sophomores Tia Day (Monmouth, Maine) and Page Brown (Boothbay, Maine) added 11 points apiece, and sophomore Molly Folsom (Fairfield, Maine) contributed 10 points and a team-high six rebounds off the bench.
Ortiz scored the first seven points of the game on a lay-up, a three-pointer and two free throws to give Lasell an early lead. The Lasers pulled ahead 11-2 less than three minutes in after a pair of free throws by junior Devyn Markland (Derby, Conn.), but the Lasers went cold and did not score again in the opening frame.
UMF scored 13 unanswered points to finish out the first quarter with a 15-11 lead, and added six more to open the second stanza to open up a double-digit margin, 21-11. Lasell crawled back to within a point at 21-20 midway through the second, but the Beavers answered with a 14-3 run en route to a 37-25 halftime lead.
UMD extended its lead to 17 points (48-31) midway through the third quarter, and led 55-41 after three. Lasell got as close as 13 points early in the fourth after a three-pointer by senior Taylor Churchill (Fort Fairfield, Maine) and again midway through the quarter after another three by Churchill, but that's as close as the Lasers would get.
Lasell and UMF will meet again this season on Saturday, January 4, 2020, in Farmington.
The Lasers return to Newton for the home opener at the Athletic Center this Tuesday, November 26, against Framingham State University (6:00 p.m.). UMF also plays at home on Tuesday, hosting Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at 5:30 p.m.
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