Norton, Beavers nab NAC victory at Thomas

Norton, Beavers nab NAC victory at Thomas

WATERVILLE -- Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine) netted a career-high 22 points as the University of Maine at Farmington women's basketball team survived a trip to Thomas College with a 78-74 victory over the Terriers this afternoon.

The Beavers (4-8 overall, 3-4 NAC) are scheduled to visit Bowdoin College Monday at 7 p.m. The Terriers slumped to 2-11 (2-6).

Rachel Clement (Gray, Maine) added 15 points for UMF, also her collegiate best, with Holly Oliver (Belgrade Lakes, Maine) providing eight points in her first appearance of the season. Lindsay Ranquist (Owls Head, Maine) grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the win, while Paige Saunders (Surry, Maine) led the defense with four blocked shots.

The Beavers led by as many as 14 points in the second half before the Terriers rallied to tie the game twice on a Lindsay Fry threes. Norton scored 10 of her points over the final 5:20 to help UMF to the win.

Karin Bird scored a game-high 26 points for Thomas with Fry and Elizabeth Goodell each collecting 11 points.

After early leads by Thomas, the Beavers used a 10-0 run, capped by a Norton trey, to take a 16-11 lead with 14:39 left in the opening half. The two teams continued to light up the scoreboard over the first 10 minutes of the frame with the Terriers battle back to take a 23-22 edge on a Kate Thibodeau three with 9:43 to go in the first.

The Beavers followed with the game's next 10 points to lead 32-23 on their way to a 44-37 intermission advantage.

UMF outscored the hosts 9-2 over the first 9:17 of the second half with a Kelsey Graffam (Falmouth, Maine) layup making it 53-39. With the Beavers leading 59-47, a Fry three-point play highlighted a nine-point stretch for the Terriers to take UMF's advantage down to 59-56 with 8:42 to go.

A Fry triple tied the game at 63-63 with 6:14 to play, but Norton follow with a three-point play and the Beavers maintained an advantage until Fry struck again with 1:10 remaining to knot the contest at 72-72. Oliver and Norton each made three of four free throws over the final 55 seconds to help the visitors come away with the 78-74 victory.

 Kenni Norton  Rachel Clement  Holly Oliver  Lindsay Ranquist  Paige Saunders