Beavers earn NAC victory over NEC

Beavers earn NAC victory over NEC

FARMINGTON, Maine -- Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine) led four players in double figures with 15 points as the University of Maine at Farmington notched a 68-55 victory over New England College in North Atlantic Conference women's basketball action this afternoon at Dearborn Gymnasium.

The Beavers improved to 8-12 overall and 7-7 in the NAC. UMF is scheduled to visit Lyndon State College Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Pilgrims slipped to 16-5 (9-5) and are slated to host Maine Maritime Academy Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Norton also powered the Beavers' defense with five steals and a pair of blocked shots. Paige Saunders (Surry, Maine) collected a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in the win, while Rachel Clement (Gray, Maine) added 12 points and five assists and Lindsay Ranquist (Owls Head, Maine) pitched in 11 points. Holly Oliver (Belgrade Lakes, Maine) pulled down 10 boards for UMF.

UMF overcame 30 turnovers with its best shooting performance of the season at 46.3 percent (25-54), while holding the Pilgrims to 28.8 percent (17-59).

Rachel Williams (Chapel Hill, N.C.) led NEC with 13 points and six steals, while Danika Johnson (Port Angeles, Wash.) popped in 11 points off the bench.

The Beavers led from a Bianca Stoutamyer (Madison, Maine) three to make it 10-9 with 13:30 to play in the opening half until the final, but were unable to shake the Pilgrims until an 11-2 run late.

A trio of layups -- two by Norton, one by Clement -- helped the hosts out to a 19-10 lead in the opening frame. The Pilgrims didn't let the lead grow beyond nine points and, with a three from Johnson and a Jenna Ledy (Pickford, Mich.), were able to knock the UMF advantage down to 30-27 by the break.

After trailing by 10 points early in the second half, the Pilgrims worked the lead down to 52-48 on a Jessie Ledy (Pickford, Mich.) 3-pointer with 6:58 to play. Following a UMF timeout, Saunders scored a pair and Norton hit a three to push the Beavers to a 57-48 lead with 5:54 remaining. After two minutes of offensive quiet, Saunders capped a 7-0 stretch for a 59-48 command with 3:35 to go.

Johnson quieted the run with a layup, but Ranquist and Oliver followed with a pair of free throws each to finish the 11-2 span and give the Beavers a 63-50 cushion with 1:53 to go. NEC nibbled the deficit down to eight points, but UMF survived to take the 68-55 victory.

Kenni Norton Paige Saunders Rachel Clement Lindsay Ranquist Holly Oliver