Becker advances to NECC semifinals

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LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College women's basketball team prevailed 68-53 over visiting Lesley University in the first round of the New England Collegiate Conference playoffs on Tuesday evening at the Leicester Gymnasium.

The Hawks of Becker (16-10) were led by sophomore guard Cassidy Harrison (Foxborough, Mass. / Foxborough) with 13 points and four steals, and by junior forward Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, Conn. / Hill Regional Career), who scored 13 points with six rebounds. Sophomore forward Sarah Ware (Oakham, Mass. / Quabbin Regional) finished with ten points, five rebounds and five steals while freshman guard Jazlyn Contreras (Pawtucket, R.I. / St. Mary Academy Bay View) exploded off the bench for eight points, four rebounds and five steals in just 19 minutes of play. Playing in her first game in over a month, junior forward Ciara McKissick (Charlton, Mass. / Shepherd Hill Regional) returned to the lineup and dished out six assists. Collectively, Becker shot 48 percent from the floor.

The Lynx of Lesley (4-22) were led by senior guard Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass. / Mount Saint Charles) who came of the bench to rally the visitors with a 14 point effort. Sophomore guard Linda Wallentine (Monroe Township, N.J. / Monroe Township) scored 11 points while sophomore forward Dakota Jones (Torrance, Calif./West High / West ) posted a double-double with ten points and 11 boards. Freshman forward Elizabeth Portante (Littleton, Mass./Littleton High) finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Becker led by as much as 25 in the first half before Lesley started chipping away at the deficit, pulling to within 11 with 2:39 left in the game, but the Hawks held on down the stretch.

The Hawks of Becker now advance to the NECC semifinals. They will travel to Mitchell College on Thursday in a matchup of the tournament's third and second seeds. Tip-off is tentatively scheduled for 7:00 p.m.