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Lesley falls to Maine Maritime and Husson

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior guard Courtnie Leakeas (Lowell, Mass.) had a pair of 20-plus point games, but Lesley couldn't show anything more than a pair of hard-fought losses as the Lynx fell to Maine Maritime, 65-60, on Friday night, and, 78-74, to Husson on Saturday afternoon in a weekend road trip for North Atlantic Conference East Division results.

Lesley is now 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the NAC, while Maine Maritime (8-7 overall) improved to 3-1 in conference play and Husson (7-6 overall) remained undefeated against the rest of the NAC at 4-0.

Leakeas, in inching closer to 1,000 career points, dropped a game-high 24 against Maine Maritime and team-high 21 against Husson.

Against Maine Maritime, she was aided most by freshman center Brianne Caira (Pelham, N.H.), who went for 12 points and nine rebounds. Freshman forward Kaitlyn Wechsler (Merrick, N.Y.) added nine points and four rebounds. Leakeas also had nine boards and five assists.

The game remained close throughout the first half, but the Mariners knocked down a pair of lay-ups just before the break to grab a somewhat sizable eight-point advantage at halftime, 36-28.

Maine Maritime had three players in double figures, chief among them, Megan Franklin (Skowhegan, Me.), who finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and seven steals.

The Mariners stretched their lead to 12, at 40-28, out of the locker room, and Lesley worked to cut its deficit to three at 48-45 with eight minutes to go, but Maine Maritime's advantage quickly ballooned back to double digits and the Lynx ran out of time in its next comeback effort, dropping a five-point decision.

Against Husson, the physical Eagles (they had 34 free throw attempts to Lesley's 19), proved to be just a little too strong in the back-and-forth matchup.

In addition to Leakeas' 21-point, eight-rebound, five-assist effort, the Lynx got a great performance out of Wechsler, as she went for 20 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Kelly Harrington (Toledo, Ohio) also had 12 points.

Lesley grabbed the early lead against the Eagles - who were paced by Shelby Bradford's (Lee, Me.) 23-point, 15 rebound, five-steal day - but Husson stormed back, going on a 16-2 run after having been down 15-9 to start the contest, and took a 37-34 advantage into halftime.

The Lynx made their run midway through the second half, taking a 61-52 lead with 10 minutes to go after outscoring the Eagles 13-1 thanks to a surge highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers from Harrington.

Husson chipped away at the deficit, though, until finally recapturing the lead 69-68 with four minutes to go after a Bradford free throw. With just over a minute to go, Wechsler knocked down a pair of free throws to give Lesley the lead back, 74-72, but it was the final points scored by the Lynx, as Husson went on a 6-0 run to end the game and take the four-point win.

Leakeas had a chance to tie with three seconds to go and Lesley down three at 77-74, but her three-pointer was off the mark and Ashley Bragdon (Newport, Me.) came down with the rebound and was fouled by Leakeas.

The Lynx, who had won two in a row entering the weekend, will look to get back to their winning ways this week with a trio of NAC games. Their first challenge will be hosting Wheelock at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Castleton State will then visit on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. and Johnson State will follow the next day at 4 p.m.

For more information about the Lesley University women's basketball team, please visit their website.