NEWTON, Mass. -- The Elms College women's basketball team finished on the wrong side of a back-and-forth battle at Lasell College on Thursday night, falling 77-71 in overtime to the Lasers.
The Blazers (3-3) opened the game on a 9-0 run but Lasell responded with eight unanswered points in the final 2:30 of the first quarter to cut the deficit to 9-8 heading into the second. Elms maintained a slim cushion throughout the second quarter and led by a bucket, 26-24, at halftime.
The Lasers, however, took their first lead of the night just 15 seconds into the second half with a 3-pointer from Jaime Caron (Derry, N.H.). Elms regained the lead but Lasell kept within striking distance before going on an 11-2 run late in the third quarter and led 49-45 heading into the fourth.
Elms took the lead once again less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, 52-51, and held the lead until there were just 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Caron went to the free throw line with Lasell trailing 63-62, and sunk a pair of free throws to put the Lasers back on top by a point. Angelica Peguero-Flores (Springfield, Mass.) split a pair of free throws on the other end to tie the game and eventually force overtime.
Elms led by three points on two occasions early in the overtime period, the last being 70-67 mid-way through the extra five minutes, but the Lasers made the game's last push. Lasell outscored Elms 10-1 in the final 2:37 of overtime to pick up the victory.
Peguero-Flores led all scorers with a career-high 23 points off the bench. She filled the void down low left by Niah Pantry (New Haven, Conn.), who was plagued by foul trouble all evening and managed just two points before fouling out.
Regina LeBlanc (Enfield, Conn.) was busy on both ends of the court, finishing with a 15 point, 12 rebound double-double and adding five assists and six steals in 42 minutes of play. LeBlanc went 5-of-11 from the field and hit all five of her free throw attempts. Molly Moulton (North Adams, Mass.) added 17 points and five boards for the Blazers.
Breanna Muir (Wareham, Mass.) and Imani Bumpus (Dedham, Mass.) led Lasell with 13 points apiece. Caron added 11 and D'Asia Allen (Providence, R.I.) chipped in with a dozen points off the bench.
Elms focused on scoring down low, racking up 26 points in the paint while going just 1-of-5 from long range, while Lasell attempted 27 3-pointers, connecting on nine of those. The Blazers held a 45-37 rebounding advantage in the game. Lasell held a pivotal advantage at the free throw line, where both teams were awarded 32 attempts and the Lasers converted 26 of those, while Elms hit 20.
Elms returns to action on Saturday when New England Collegiate Conference action resumes as Becker College visits Picknelly Arena at 1:00 p.m. Saturday's contest is the first half of a double-header with the Blazer men, who host Westfield State at 3:00 p.m.