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FPU women fall in NCAA first round

The Franklin Pierce University women’s basketball team saw its season come to an end on Friday with a 78-66 loss to Stonehill in the opening round of the NCAA Division II tournament.

The Ravens finished the season with an 18-11 record, the first year under the direction of former player Jen Leedham.

It was the sixth straight appearance in the Division II tournament East Regional and second consecutive loss in the first round.

FPU led 35-27 at the half, but shot just 28 percent (9-for-32) in the second half and were outscored 51-31 over the final 20 minutes. With 10:23 remaining in the game, the Ravens led 47-41.

It was a great start for the seventh seeded Ravens, who scored 10 of the game’s first 12 points, and kept its lead near double digits for much of the first half.

Senior Amanda Saab scored a career high 24 points, including 16 in the first half, to go along with eight rebounds in her final collegiate game and doing so with a torn ACL suffered during practice early in the season.

Freshman Kara Charette, a Northeast-10 Conference All-Rookie team selection, scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Those were the only two players in double figures, as FPU got just eight points from its bench.

The Ravens split the two regular season meetings with Stonehill. They lost 70-47 on the road in November, but picked up a 72-50 victory in Rindge on Feb. 6.

FPU began the season by winning just five of its first nine games, but responded with six straight wins and eight out of nine to jump back into the national tournament picture.

The Ravens were the fifth seed in the NE-10 tournament and picked up a road win in the quarterfinal round before falling to No. 1 Bentley in the semis for the second straight season.

FPU graduates three seniors, including Saab and NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year Tiffany Johnson.

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