PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Lasell University women's basketball team dropped a 64-57 outcome to Johnson & Wales University Saturday afternoon in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener for both teams at the Wildcat Center.
The Wildcats improve to 9-6 overall while the Lasers even their overall mark at 6-6.
Senior Amanda Ortiz (Newton, Mass.) led the Lasers with 21 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Junior Precious Montgomery (Bridgeport, Conn.) scored 14 points and matched Ortiz with nine rebounds, and senior D'Asia Allen (Providence, R.I.) added 13 points off the bench.
Senior Maddy Moro (Catawissa, Pa.) led the hosts with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Classmate Tiondra Hands (Boynton Beach, Fla.) added 19 points, six rebounds and four assists and senior Britney Gallagher (New City, N.Y.) was good for 17 points.
Lasell had a 20-16 advantage after the first quarter, with a balanced scoring effort as Ortiz had six points, junior Peyton Young (Douglas, Mass.) had five and Montgomery four. The Wildcats came back to outscore the Lasers 20-12 in the second frame to take a 36-32 lead at the break.
Johnson & Wales started the second half on a 6-0 run that built a 42-32 advantage. The Lasers responded with an 11-0 run of their own and Allen's three-pointer put the visitors ahead 33-32 at the 3:05 mark.
The lead went back and forth the rest of the game – there were 18 lead changes in the game – until Moro nailed back-to-back jumpers to stake the Wildcats to a 59-55 margin with 1:50 remaining. JWU sealed the victory by going 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final minute.
The three-point shot helped carry the Wildcats as they went 8-of-22 from behind the arc while Lasell was just 4-of-15. JWU also had 41-33 advantage on the glass.
The Lasers return to action on Tuesday, January 14, with a visit to GNAC foe Norwich University for a 6:30 p.m. matchup. The Wildcats are back at home on Wednesday to face Regis at 7 p.m.
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