BANGOR, Maine - Led by Tournament MVP Kenzie Worcester with 21 points, the #1 seeded Husson Eagles won their fourth NAC Women's Basketball Championship in a row, defeating Maine Maritime 58 to 51. Husson improves to 19-8 and Maine Maritime sees their season come to an end at 19-7.
The Eagles will be one of 64 teams in the NCAA Division III women's basketball national tournament. Matchups and locations will be announced on the NCAA selection show on Monday, February 24 at 2:30 PM.
The two NAC finalists found themselves in a defensive struggle from the opening tip as Maine Maritime received early baskets from Melinda Ogden, Lauren Plissey, and a free throw from Plissey to race out to 5-0 lead eight minutes and 14 seconds into the game. A made jump shot by Megan Peach put the Eagles on the board with 7:19 remaining in the first but both teams would trade baskets back-and-forth the rest of the quarter as MMA held a three-point advantage after one, 11-8.
Worcester cut the MMA lead to one with a made jump shot two minutes and 34 seconds into the second before tying the game at 13-13 two minutes later with the Eagles first three of game. Husson closed out the first half on a 9-4 run thanks to Vanessa Duarte's three 3-pointers. The Eagles look a 22-17 lead into the intermission. Duarte led all scorers with nine points, while Alayne Felix record six points to lead the Mariners.
Worcester came out of the break hot for the Eagles as she pushed the lead to ten with 6:42 remaining in the third with a 3-point shot and a jumper. Felix cut the Eagle lead back to eight 13 seconds later but that was the closes the Mariners could get to as Husson took a 36-23 lead into the final quarter of the game.
Husson came out of the brief break with an old fashion 3-point play from Peach to the pressure on the Mariners. They responded with a quick five-point swing of their own by Felix and Megan McLean to cut the Eagle lead to eight before Worcester made a huge 3-pointer to extend the led back to 11 with 6:09 remaining. With 3:51 left in the game, Morgan Boudreau's jumper sparked a Mariner comeback attempt that cut the Eagle lead to a few mere buckets but two charity stripe makes by Emma Alley in the closing minute clinched the 58-51 victory for Husson.
- Worcester finished with a game-high 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
- Peach recorded her eighth double-double on the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while adding three assists and three blocks.
- Duarte had 14 points off the bench.
MAINE MARITIME LEADERS:
- Felix led her team with 13 points along with five rebounds and five assists.
- Plissey finished the game with eight rebounds paired with 11 points.
- McLean chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
~Courtesy of Husson Sports Information
|Alisha Celley||Northern Vermont-Lyndon|
|Antanasia Chambers||SUNY Canton|
|Megan McLean||Maine Maritime|
|Sydney Allen||Maine Maritime|
|Kenzie Worcester, MVP||Husson|
Quarterfinals • Saturday, February 16 (at higher seeds)
No. 6 Thomas - 47 / No. 3 SUNY Canton - 78
No. 5 UMaine-Farmington - 42 / No. 4 NVU-Lyndon - 66
Semifinals • Friday, February 22 (at Husson)
No. 4 NVU-Lyndon - 39 / No. 1 Husson - 77
No. 3 SUNY Canton - 43 / No. 2 Maine Maritime - 55
Championship • Saturday, February 23 (at Husson)
No. 1 Husson - 58 / No. 2 Maine Maritime - 51