Southern Maine Defeats Salem State 83-61

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GORHAM, Maine  – Sophomore forward Rebecca Knight (Alfred, Maine/McAuley) scored 27 points and grabbed 14 points – both career-high totals – to lead the 23rd-ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies to an 83-61 win over the Salem State Unviersity Vikings in a non-conference women's basketball game Tuesday night at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.

With the win, the Huskies – ranked 23rd in the most recent National Poll -  remain undefeated and improve to 7-0 overall.  The loss is the second straight for Salem State and drops its record to 4-4 overall. 

Knight scored 20 of her 27 points and grabbed eight of her 14 rebounds in the first half to power the Huskies to a 45-34 lead at the break.  Knight was a force in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 18 of the Huskies first 25 points, while converting 10-of-11 from the field and grabbing five offensive rebounds to help Southern Maine to a 28-10 advantage in the paint.

Holding a comfortable 49-39 with 16:01 to play in the second half, the Huskies separated themselves from the Vikings with a 24-7 run to grab a commanding 27-point advantage, 73-46, with 7:53 on the clock. Senior guard Nicole Garland (Portland, Maine/Deering) knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the pivotal run, while Knight and sophomore forward Abby Hasson (South Portland, Maine) each added five points.  With the game in control, the Salem State never threatened the Huskies' sizeable lead the rest of the way and USM led by as many as 31 points late in the game en route to the 83-61 win.

Knight finished the game shooting 12-for-14 from the field and added two assists and three steals.  Garland added 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting from three-point range, while senior forward Jordan Grant (Concord, N.H.) tossed in 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the Huskies to a 47-36 advantage on the glass.

Sophomore guard Rachel Carter (Merrimack, N.H.) paced the Vikings with 16 points, four assists and two steals.  Freshman guard Rachel Ledbetter (Dracut, Mass.) added 10 points, three assists and three steals.

Southern Maine finished the game shooting 46.9 percent (30-for-64) from the field and scored 26 of its points off of second-chance buckets.  Salem State shot 34.2 percent (25-for-73) from the floor.

Southern Maine hosts Western Connecticut State on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) in a Little East Conference match up.  Salem State travels to Emmanuel College on Thursday (5:30 p.m.).