WATERVILLE, Maine --- Johnson State College blew a close game wide open in the fourth quarter of a 72-48 win over Thomas College in North Atlantic Conference women's basketball play Saturday at Larry Mahaney Gymnasium. Leading 45-43 after three, the Badgers outscored the Terriers, 27-5, in the final frame en route to the victory.
Thomas (2-10, 1-5 NAC) led 16-10 after the first quarter, finishing the period on an 11-2 run. The Terriers eventually stretched the lead to 21-10 on a Kelly Macomber (West Gardiner, Maine) layup with 5:33 to play in the first half. A three-pointer by Johnson State's Amanda Bednarick cut the lead to just four at 24-20, but Thomas responded with buckets on three straight possessions to get the lead back to 10 with 1:51 to play.
The Badgers (6-7, 3-3 NAC) scored the final three baskets of the half, giving the Terriers just a four-point lead headed to the locker room.
The run continued in the third quarter as Johnson State scored the first seven points to lead 35-30 before Ashleigh Gagne (Waterville, Maine) drained a three-pointer with 6:12 left in the quarter. She would add a free throw and two more baskets over the next four minutes, helping to draw Thomas within one at the 2:17 mark.
Baskets by Sarah Voorhis and Bednarick pushed the lead back to five, but a free throw by Brenna Hutchinson (Brooklin, Maine) and a layup by Macomber gave Johnson State only a 45-43 advantage headed to the final quarter.
The Badgers took over in the final quarter, outrebounding the Terriers 16-5, including 8-0 on the offensive glass. Numerous second chances allowed Johnson State to shoot 10-for-20 from the field in the final frame alone. Thomas was limited to just 2-for-11 shooting while committing 10 turnovers and eight personal fouls to JSC's three and two.
Gagne posted game-highs with 20 points and nine rebounds to lead Thomas. Jordan Agger-Barnes (South Portland, Maine) added 12 points and five rebounds, while Tess McClenahan (Salmon, Idaho) had five five rebounds, four assists and three steals before fouling out.
Johnson State had four players in double figures, led by 15 from Amanda Bednarick off the bench. Starters Domonique Carter-Stanley and Allyson Bruckner had 12 apiece, while Nicole Menard chipped in with 11. Ashley Goddard had a team-best eight rebounds while Bruckner added seven and six steals.
The Badgers, who shot progressively better as the game went on, finished shooting 42.4 percent (28-of-66) from the field with six three-pointers while hitting 10 of 16 shots at the free throw line. The Terriers finished the game shooting 35.8 percent (19-of-53) from the field. Johnson State held a 45-35 rebounding edge and had 19 steals to Thomas' eight.
Both schools host Husson in their next outings - the Terriers at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and the Badgers at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Thomas follows that up with a January 16 home game against UMaine-Farmington, while Johnson State hosts Maine Maritime that same afternoon.