Franklin Leads Gators to 72-57 Win Over Vermont Tech

Box Score

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Pine Manor College sophomore Natasia Franklin (Windsor, CT) led all scorers with a game-high 24 points on 9-15 shooting to lead the Gators to 72-57 victory over visiting Vermont Tech during a Sunday matinee at Pine Manor Gymnasium.

Franklin was joined in double-figures by freshman Alexis Lee (Akron, OH), who contributed 13 points to go along with three assists. With the win, Pine Manor improves to 4-8 overall and 2-2 during the spring semester. Vermont Tech drops to 6-8 with the loss, their eighth in a row since opening the season 6-0.

Pine Manor used a strong first half to distance itself from the Knights. The Gators lead by as many as 18 during the opening session, including at halftime when the Gators took a 41-23 advantage into the break.

The Gators used an early 9-2 run to open up an 11-4 advantage three minutes into the contest. A three-pointer by PMC senior Ashley Reeves (Roxbury, MA) gave the Gators a 14-8 advantage with 13:41 to play in the first, but a pair of Vermont Tech baskets by Paige Wells (Orleans, VT) and Kelly Vellek (Burlington, VT) cut the deficit to just two a minute later. Wells finished with a double-double for the Knights, scoring 16 points and collecting 16 rebounds. Vellek finished with a team-high 18 points, shooting 4-10 from beyond the arc. Junior Ama Baker (Fitchburg, MA) also finished in double figures for Vermont Tech with 17 points.

The Gators then responded with an 18-2 run, capped by a layup from Lee with 4:40 to play in the first, to take a 32-14 advantage. Vellek then scored the next 8 Vermont Tech points to help pull the visitors back to within 12 at 35-23 with 1:58 to go before the half. However, back-to-back Pine Manor buckets and a Gator free throw helped send the hosts into the break with the 41-23 advantage.

In the second half, Pine Manor extended its lead to a 23-point advantage, the biggest margin of the game; following a Meagan Badohu (Boston, MA) layup that gave the Gators a 46-23 lead with just over 18 minutes remaining. From that point, Pine Manor led comfortably throughout, as Vermont Tech was only able to cut the lead to single digits with 3:10 to play when Wells made the score 62-53.

Leading by only single digits for the first time since the 8:22 mark of the first, the Gators responded with a layup by Lee followed by back-to-back layups from Franklin to push the lead back to 15 points, at 68-53. Lee and Franklin would each then sink a pair of free throws to help Pine Manor complete the 72-57 victory.

The Gators will be back in action on Wednesday night when they take on Fisher College at 6:00 p.m. in Lynn, MA. Vermont Tech will also be in action at 6:00 pm on Wednesday as they will return home to face U. Maine – Machias.

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