21 Little East Conference Championships

Southern Maine Rallies Past UMass Boston 46-42

Rookie Jackie Luckhardt scored a team-high 12 points for USM in an LEC road game.
Rookie Jackie Luckhardt scored a team-high 12 points for USM in an LEC road game.
BOSTON   –  Freshman Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) scored a game-high 12 points, including a pivotal four free throws in the fourth quarter, to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 46-42 come-from-behind win over the UMass Boston Beacons in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Wednesday night at the Clark Athletic Center.

            With the win, Southern Maine improves its record to 4-18 on the season and 3-8 in the Little East, avenging an earlier loss to the Beacons.  UMass Boston falls to 9-13 overall and 5-6 in the LEC.

            Luckhardt was 8-for-10 from the free throw line to earn her game-high 12 points. Luckhardt added five rebounds, two assists and three steals.  Junior Miranda Nicely (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) and sophomores Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec) and Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vt./Bellows Free Academy) each scored eight points.  Nicely had eight rebounds for the Huskies.  Freshman Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) added seven points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

            Michaela Ilebode led UMB with 10 points, adding six rebounds. Taje Burston and Katie Mathieu each scored nine points for the Beacons, while Alecia Quinones had eight points off of the bench.  Raven Kelsey had a game-high 20 rebounds, while Katrina Edwards hauled down 12 boards, including six offensive rebounds to help UMB to a 53-43 advantage on the class.

            In a back and forth first half, Southern Maine lead 14-13 with 4:23 left in the second quarter, following a layup from Nicely.  UMB regained the lead on a 5-0 run, including back-to-back layups from Edwards and Quinones, making it 18-14 with 1:25 to play.  Nicely answered with a jumper off of an Eells offensive board and an assist, but Burston made a steal and scored a layup to put UMB up 20-16 with 40 seconds to play.  USM went into the break trailing 20-18 as Luckhardt sunk a pair of free throws for the Huskies in the closing moments.

            The game remained close in the third and both teams were tied at 24 with 6:06 to play after a layup from USM's Howrigan.  Clinging to a 26-25 lead with 4:49 left in the third, UMass Boston scored five unanswered points on a layup from Quinones and a three from Burston to lead 31-25 with 2:36 left. Nicely trimmed the USM deficit to 31-27 with a steal and a layup, but Quinones scored the last basket of the quarter to keep her team ahead 33-27 heading into the fourth.

            Southern Maine trailed UMB by two possessions late into the fourth, facing a 39-34 deficit with 2:58 to play following a pair of free throws from UMB's Ilebode. With time running down, USM rallied over the next two minutes with an 8-1 run to grab a 42-40 lead with 58 seconds to play.  Howrigan, Srolovitz, Nicely and Eells each scored in the run for the Huskies, including the go-ahead basket from Eells on an offensive rebound and a put back. Each team traded a pair of one-of-two efforts at the free throw line on the ensuing possessions and USM led 43-42 with seven seconds on the clock, before Luckhardt sealed the win making 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch for the 46-42 win.  

            Southern Maine remains on the road and travels to Rhode Island College on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) for a Little East Conference game.  UMass Boston hosts Plymouth State on Saturday in an LEC tilt (1:00 p.m.).

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