CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Lesley University women's basketball team had four players hit double-digit points to help defeat Lasell College 73-54 to improve to 7-4 (2-0 North Atlantic Conference). With the loss, the Lasers dropped to 2-8 on the season.
Courtnie Leakeas (Lowell, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Wechsler (Merrick, N.Y.) both scored 15 points each to lead the Lynx. Both players were perfect from the line as they combined to go 15-of-15. Guards Kelly Harrington (Toledo, Ohio) and Georgia Saltzman (Lynn, Mass.) provided a spark from the bench as they scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Both were effective beyond the arc as they combined to hit 4-of-8 three-pointers.
For the Lasers, Lauren Picozzi (Coventry, R.I.) recorded a double-double in the losing effort scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Christina DeLuca (Johnston, R.I.) had an impressive game as she had eight points, seven rebounds, six assists, and six steals.
The game was plagued by turnovers as both teams combined for 61
turnovers. Lasell took the advantage in creating points off
of turnovers as they outscored Lesley 23-19. The Lasers also
had a strong inside presence scoring nearly half of their points
from in the paint. The Lynx, however, got major contributions
off their bench as Lesley's non-starters outscored Lasell's by a
total of 31-14.
"Tonight was about finding a way to pull out a win even though we didn't play great basketball," said Head Coach Dan Hunt. "I give all the credit in the world to Lasell for their effort, but I thought we could have played better than we did. We got some huge contributions off our bench, as I thought everyone came in and gave us some quality minutes. With Georgia and Kelly scoring points, Jodi Fralick and Kaitlin Laquerre playing hard defense in the second half, and the overall solid play of Cassidy Freed, you can see why we won this game. Their energy helped us overcome the obstacles we placed in front of ourselves by turning the ball over, and I think it helped the starters get back to defending the way we ask them to."
With Lasell scoring most of their points in the paint, Lesley's starting post defenders struggled. In the second half, however, the Lynx got some quality perimeter defense from the guards to help force turnovers and create more scoring opportunities for the offense.
"In fact, I thought the second half defense of Courtnie Leakeas and Lani Cabral-Pini on the perimeter was huge in helping us to gain an advantage. Our starting posts didn't play their usual stellar games, so it was nice to see others step to the forefront and pick them up. The other thing that was a key for us tonight was our willingness to take the open shot. I think that we showed tonight that we can shoot the ball well from beyond the three-point arc, and we made free throws when we had to. Now it will be nice to get the kids some to focus on their own play, as we don't play again until we travel to Maine Maritime, and we hope to be ready to face a team that has been in the upper echelon of the league for the last several years."
Lesley will next travel north to face conference opponents Maine Maritime Academy and Husson College on January 18 and 19. For Lasell, their next opponent will be Simmons College at home on January 12.
To learn more about the Lesley University women's basketball team, please visit their website.