CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Lesley University survived a fourth quarter run from University of Maine-Presque Isle and held on to top the Owls 61-53 in a non-conference tilt tonight at the Nicholas Athletics Center.
Lynx freshman Dakota Jones (Torrance, Calif.) recorded her tenth double-double of the season and broke the Lesley single-game record with a career-high 21 rebounds to go with 15 points to lead the hosts. Jones had tied the previous record of 20 rebounds on Monday night in Lesley's win over Bay Path.
The win bumps the Lynx to 6-10 on the season; their most wins since the 2010-11 campaign. UMPI falls to 4-12 with the loss.
Jones scored seven of her 15 points in the final quarter while junior Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass.) tied a career-high with a game-best 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go with six rebounds. Senior Emily Meade (Derry, N.H.) added ten points and seven boards and freshman Linda Wallentine (Monroe Township, N.J.) finished with seven points, five rebounds, and five assists. Senior Hannah Levensailor (Ayer, Mass.) pulled down a season-best seven caroms in the win.
The Owls scoring was sparked by their bench as junior Teagan Lawyerson (Moscow, Maine) and freshman Rhylee Wright (Frenchville, Maine) both finished with 14 points in reserve duty. Lawyerson knocked down four three's and added three rebounds to her line while Wright – who scored all of her 14 in the second half, including ten in the fourth quarter – led UMPI with eight boards and three blocks. Senior Sydney Churchill (Fort Fairfield, Maine) added ten points, five boards, three steals, and a pair of assists.
Lesley never trailed in the game as they came out hot and scored the first nine points of the night, forcing an early UMPI timeout. Pereira led the early surge with a trey followed by a steal and fastbreak layup. Trailing 14-4, UMPI would trim the deficit back down to five with a 5-0 spurt to end the quarter.
The Lynx held a 19-12 lead midway through the second before a Meade layup followed by a Wallentine put-back sparked a 10-3 streak to build their biggest lead of the game, 29-15, before heading into halftime with a 29-18 advantage.
Lesley would keep a double-digit lead through the third quarter before UMPI would start to chip away in the fourth. Trailing 46-35 with seven minutes to go, the Owls would go on a 10-3 run of their own that was capped by a Wright layup to cut the Lynx lead down to four, 49-45, with 4:12 left on the clock.
A Pereira jumper and a Meade layup would interrupt the UMPI run, however, the Owls would later use the three-ball to power another 8-2 spurt to bring the lead back down to four again, 57-53, with just 39-seconds on the clock. Lesley recovered and knocked down four free throws in the waning moments to ice the game for the victory.
The Lynx held the Owls to just 25% (18-of-73) shooting on the night while converting 34% (21-of-61) of their attempts on the night. Lesley dominated the glass, pulling down a season-high 61 rebounds compared to 39 for the Owls while also holding a 22-12 edge on points in the paint.
Lesley will return to New England Collegiate Conference action on Thursday when they travel to Daniel Webster College at 7:00p. The Lynx will aim to sweep the season series with the Eagles after earning a 79-71 victory in Cambridge back on November 29th. UMPI will return home and host UMaine-Machias on Wednesday at 5:00p.