Second-Half Rally Propels Norwich Past Gators, 74-66

Box Score

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Pine Manor took a 34-33 lead into the half but Norwich University freshmen Aliah Curry (Windsor, MA) scored 19 of her career-high 36 points in the second half to lead the visiting Cadets to a 74-66 victory over Pine Manor during a Tuesday afternoon Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) game at Brunelli Court in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Pine Manor got out to an early 3-2 lead a minute into the game, thanks to a three-pointer from junior Tia Nelson (Rockport, MA). However, the Gators first lead of the game was short lived as Curry was fouled while converting on a lay-up, and hit the free-throw.to give the Cadets a 5-3 advantage 2:30 into the contest.

After Curry converted the basket and the foul, the lead continued to exchange hands as Pine Manor rallied for an 8-5 advantage following a lay-up by freshmen Phalonge Pierre (Boston, MA) and a basket a free-throw from senior Therline Dumeran (Cambridge, MA). However, back-to-back three-pointers from Curry pulled the visitors back ahead 12-8 with 14:32 to go in the first. Dumeran finished the contest with 11 points for Pine Manor, while classmate Paulette Wright (Baltimore, MD) also finished in double-figures with 12 points for the Gators.

As the lead continued to go back and forth so did the hot shooting of Curry and PMC’s Tia Nelson. While Curry scored 17 of her game-high 36 in the first, Nelson put down 15 of her team-high 20 points for Pine Manor in the first half, shooting a perfect 5-5 from beyond the arc in the opening session.

With Pine Manor trailing 26-21 following a pair of free-throws by Norwich freshmen Katrina Laidlaw (Dunblane, Scotland), Nelson hit three consecutive three-pointers in just over a minute of time to pull Pine Manor back ahead, 30-26, with 4:56 left to play in the first-half. Not to be outdone, Curry hit a three pointer of her own on the Cadets next possession to pull Norwich back to within one as the teams continued to exchang baskets before heading into the break with PMC leading 34-33.

In the second-half, Pine Manor held off the Cadets for just under 10 minutes before the visitors took a 55-53 advantage with 10:21 remaining following another and-one conversion by Curry. From that point forward, Norwich did not surrender the lead, stretching its advantage to as many as 13 points, following a pair of free-throws by Curry with 4:20 left to play.

A three-pointer by freshmen Natasia Franklin (Windsor, CT) pulled the Gators back to within eight with 2:55 remaining but the Gators would get no closer than five, following a lay-up and free throw by senior Phibe Pham (Boston, MA) with just 40 seconds left, as Norwich took the 74-66 victory.

Pine Manor returns to action next Saturday, January 14, 2012 when they make the short trip to visit GNAC and local rival Lasell College at 1:00 p.m.

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