Women's Basketball: Paternostro, Eagles Nip Rivier In Final Seconds Of OT, 67-65

Eagle rookie Alyssa Marson soars over Rivier's Chelsea Barker (22) and Amandra Purcell (3) during first half action of Thursday's greater Nashua women's basketball clash. The Eagles prevailed in overtime, 67-65.

Nashua – Senior Sarah Paternostro (Glastonbury, Conn.) drew a foul and sank two free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime and Rivier's shot at the buzzer clanged just short as the host Eagles escaped the Raiders, 67-65 in the annual matchup of longtime intracity foes Thursday night at the Mario Vagge Gymnasium.

The teams were tied at 57 entering the extra frame, and Rivier (7-5) had pulled ahead 63-60 on back-to-back layups from Chelsea Barker (Nashua) and Ryan Baker (Whitinsville, Mass.) before DWC pulled back up front on an Alycia Gervais (Windham, Conn.) jumper and two at the line with 1:09 to play.

Gervais added another at the line for a 65-63 game and rookie Deanna Purcell (Hudson, N.H.) tied it with a layup with 26 seconds left. DWC worked the clock to 2.6 seconds before calling timeout and on the inbounds pass, Paternostro rolled to the top of the right key, drove down to the paint to receive the inbounds pass from Alyssa Marson (Bangor, Maine) and was knocked inside setting up her game-winners.

Purcell nearly won it in the final moment as two nifty passes down court found her at the top of the paint, but the talented freshman's off-balance jumper as time expired rolled left and DWC escaped with a win over the Raiders for the second straight year, the first back-to-back wins for the Eagles in the series since 2006. Rivier continues to lead the rivalry, 12-9.

Eagle senior Kirsten Murphy drives by Rivier's Deanna Purcell while Chelsea Barker (22) looks on during second half action of DWC's Thursday night victory over the Raiders (Gil Talbot photo).

Three Eagles reached double doubles as senior Alycia Gervais (Windham, Conn.) knocked down a team high 19 points and added a game high 15 rebounds, senior Kirsten Murphy (Woodstock, Conn.) notched 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Paternostro finished with 16 points and a game-high 10 assists.

DWC survived a terrific night from Purcell, who knocked down a game-high 31 points, going 11 of 16 from the field and 8 of 9 at the line, and also led the Raiders with 11 boards and five assists. Jaclyn Penniman (Dudley, Mass.) added 10 rebounds, five points and four blocks. Baker chipped in with eight points and eight boards.

Both teams struggled from the field. Rivier connected for 36 percent while DWC was just 28 percent and the teams were a combined 7 of 43 from beyond the arc. DWC won on the boards, 55-51 including 24 on the offensive glass. Turnovers were also key for the Eagles fortunes as Rivier turned the ball over 21 times (15 for DWC) leading to a 25-6 scoring advantage for the hosts.

DWC led by as many as 10 in the first half (20-10) but a late Rivier charge made it 25-24 at the break. DWC led 57-53 with 1:40 to go in regulation before Purcell buried a layup with 1:40 left and added two at the line with 59 seconds remaining to help force overtime.

DWC hosts Southern Vermont in a NECC matchup Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

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