CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Double-double performances by freshman Erica Jones (Atlanta, Ga.) and sophomore Jayva Johnson (West Haven, Conn.) were not enough to push Pine Manor over the edge as Fitchburg State dealt the Gators their first loss of the season, 83-75.
The loss drops Pine Manor to 2-1 on the year, while the Falcons remain undefeated and improve to 3-0.
Junior captain Alexis Lee (Akron, Ohio) led her team in scoring with 15 points, while Jones led all rebounders and reached double-digit boards (14) for the first time in her young career.
The Falcons were led by senior captain Laura Cote (Ashby, Mass.) who scored a game-high 23 points and brought down a team-high 13 rebounds. Fellow senior captains Rebecca Fluet (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Megan Wodzinski (Littleton, Mass.) also had big games. Fluet had a double-double scoring 15 points and bringing down 12 rebounds and Wodzinski scored 21 points.
Pine Manor got off to another fast start scoring nine of the first 12 points in the game including five from senior forward Natasia Franklin (Windsor, Conn.), who had 11 points on the day.
With about nine minutes remaining in the first half, Fitchburg State started to nip away at the lead. The Falcons went on a 7-0 run, capped off by a Stephanie Leveillee (Worcester, Mass.) layup, to close the deficit to two at 26-24.
However, the hosts would respond with a 10-0 run to pull away 38-26 for their biggest lead of the day. They went into the half up eight with the score 40-32.
The second half would be a different story as the Falcons' shooting heated up and the Gators couldn't get their shots to fall. Fitchburg State would shoot an impressive 53.1% in the second act led by Wodzinski who went 8-for-11 and scored 21 second half points.
After trading baskets for the first four minutes of the half, the Falcons took over. The visitors went on a 13-0 run, bookended by a pair of Wodzinski layups, to secure their first lead of the day.
They would hold that lead until just under the nine-minute mark when Khiyana Isaac (Roxbury, Mass.), who had 10 points off the bench, converted a three-point play to knot the game at 58. The next three minutes featured six lead changes and two ties.
Fitchburg State would grab the lead for good around the five-minute mark and go on to win 83-75.
The Gators will close out the month of November when the host Bay Path on Monday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the team's final game before the Thanksgiving break.
Fitchburg State returns home to play UMass-Boston on Tuesday a 5:30 p.m.
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