#14 Franklin Pierce Rallies Past Stonehill in OT, 89-82

Senior Emily Rousseau led the Skyhawks with 24 points, six assists and three steals tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Giroud leads Ravens to comeback victory with 25 points and 15 rebounds

EASTON, Mass. (November 17, 2010) – Franklin Pierce University, ranked 14th in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II preseason coaches' poll, erased a 13-point first half deficit on its way to an 89-82 overtime victory over Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes nationally, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior forward Marielle Giroud (Martigny, Switzerland) led Franklin Pierce with a double-double effort of 25 points and 15 rebounds (five offensive) to go with six assists, five steals and two blocked shots. She made 8-of-13 shots from the field and converted 9-of-11 free-throws on the night. Classmate Jewel White (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) also notched a double-double with game-highs of 27 points and 17 rebounds (ten offensive), shooting 10-of-18 from the field and converting 7-of-10 free-throw attempts.

Franklin Pierce placed three bench players in double-figures with freshman Brittany Martelle (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) adding 15 points, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point range, while sophomore Amanda Saab (Windham, N.H./Salem) made 5-of-6 shots from the floor, including 1-for-2 from deep, for 11 points, two assists and two steals off the bench. Junior Lekia Cowen (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Senior Emily Rousseau (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) led Stonehill with 24 points, six assists and three steals. Classmate Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) added a season-high 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, including 5-of-7 from three-point land, and converting 3-of-4 free-throws to go with two assists. Sophomore Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Academy) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Skyhawks with a career-best 12 points, on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, and four rebounds off the bench. Freshman Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) chipped in with a season-high nine points and five rebounds.

Senior Kristen McWhirter made 6-of-9 shots from the field, including 5-for-7 from deep, to finish with 20 points. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Franklin Pierce shot 50-percent (32-for-64) from the field and didn't miss a shot in overtime, going 4-for-4 from the field, including 1-for-1 from beyond the arc, and converting all seven free-throw attempts in the extra stanza. The Ravens out-rebounded Stonehill by a 45-30 margin, pulling down 18 offensive boards, and outscored the hosts 20-6 at the free-throw line. Stonehill finished shooting 47.9-percent (34-71) from the field after hitting at 60% (18-30) in the first half, including 7-of-9 (77.8%) from three-point range. The Skyhawks were held to 4-for-12 (33.3%) shooting in the first half, including 0-for-5 from deep, in overtime.

Franklin Pierce took immediate control in the extra period, opening a ten point lead (85-75) after two Martelle free-throws with 2:24 to go. Stonehill made a late run, drawing within three (85-82) after McWhirter made one of two at the line with 35-seconds remaining, but the Ravens iced the game by making its last four free-throws while the Skyhawks missed their last four shots from there. White scored seven points in overtime, while Martelle finished with five.

Stonehill led by four (73-69) after a Rousseau jumper with 1:09 left in regulation, but Franklin Pierce scored the last four points with White forcing overtime with a layup with nine seconds to go. The Skyhawks had a chance to win it late after a Higginbottom steal with six seconds remaining, but couldn't get a show away.

Coach Brown Postgame Interview

Stonehill was near lights out in the first half, draining its first seven three-point attempts and finishing shooting 60% (18-30) from the field in the half overall. The Skyhawks led by 13 (37-24) after a Higginbottom layup with 5:54 remaining before halftime. Stonehill's lead was ten (43-33) after another Higginbottom basket with 2:12 to go before the break, but Franklin Pierce closed within four (43-39) at the intermission by scoring the last six points of the half, four from Cowen.

Franklin Pierce took its first lead of the night (50-49) with a Cowen layup off a steal with 13:10 to go in regulation. The lead went back and forth until the Ravens went up five (65-60) after another Cowen bucket with 7:02 to play. Franklin Pierce led by three (69-66) with a Martelle jumper with 3:03 to go, when Stonehill reeled off seven-straight points, sparked by a McWhirter three, to gain the four-point advantage in the final minute.

Stonehill (2-1, 0-1 NE-10) is back in action on Friday when it hosts the Stonehill Classic and faces Dominican College at 7:30 p.m. Assumption College will play Caldwell College in Friday's opener at 5:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (3-0, 1-0 NE-10) visits the University of Bridgeport on Sunday at 2 p.m.