Stonehill Rallies Past Caldwell, 67-65

Junior Cori O'Kane scored a career-high 14 points to help lead the Skyhawks past Caldwell, earning All-Tournament team honors or her efforts. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr) 

Rousseau and O'Kane earn All-Tournament team honors for Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. (November 20, 2010) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II preseason coaches' poll, battled to a hard-fought 67-65 victory over Caldwell College on day two of the 2010 Stonehill Tip-Off Classic in non-conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon. Assumption College posted an 89-71 decision over Dominican College in today's opening game.

Senior Emily Rousseau (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) and junior Cori O'Kane (Pocasset, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) led the way to victory for Stonehill and were both named to the Classic All-Tournament team. They were joined by senior Kirsty Leedham (Ellesmere Port, England) and sophomore Gillian Felix (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) from Caldwell and junior Kelly Meredith (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) of Assumption.

Rousseau scored a game-high 19 points for Stonehill on 6-of-16 shooting from the field while converting all six free-throw attempts to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. O'Kane tallied a career-high 14 points (11 second half) as she canned 6-of-9 shots from the floor, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, to go with two rebounds and a pair of steals.

Junior forward Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) added 11 points, shooting 5-for-10 from the floor, and a team-best nine rebounds (six offensive), while senior Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) chipped in eight points and sophomore Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Academy) grabbed a career-best seven boards for the Skyhawks.

Senior Emily Rousseau led all scorers with 19 points, including a 6-for-6 effort at the free-throw line, and also earned All-Tournament team honors. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Leedham led Caldwell with 17 points, aided by 6-for-7 shooting at the line, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Torey Jones (North Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) added 15 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Felix pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds to go with six points and two steals. Freshman Jeanette Anderson (Lynn, Mass./Lynn English) chipped in with eight points, on 4-of-6 shooting, and ten rebounds (five offensive) in 14 minutes off the bench.

Stonehill (40.6-percent) shot just a touch better than Caldwell (37.9%) from the field for the contest. Caldwell finished with a 47-39 rebounding advantage, but Stonehill fought back after the Cougars dominated the glass in the first half by pulling down 16 offensive rebounds and posted a 14-2 advantage in second chance points in the opening 20 minutes. The Skyhawks out-rebounded Caldwell 21-17 in the second half and outscored the guests 13-2 on second chance points over the final 20 minutes.

Caldwell led by 12 (57-45) after a three and two free-throws from Leedham with 8:09 left in the second half. Stonehill responded with a 16-0 run over the next six minutes to gain a four-point lead (61-57) after a Rousseau layup with 2:14 remaining. Williams scored seven of her 11 points during that stretch, sparking the run with a three-point play.

Caldwell was able to force the third tie of the game with seven seconds left after a Jones drive with seven seconds to go, but Felix fouled Rousseau going to the basket at the other end, and the Skyhawks 95-percent free-throw shooter drained them both to put her team back on top. The Cougars got a look at the other end, but Jones running three at the buzzer was off the mark.

Postgame Interviews

Stonehill led by as much as 11 in the first half (21-10) after a jumper by freshman Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) midway through the stanza. The Skyhawks went scoreless for the next five and a half minutes as Caldwell proceeded with an 11-2 run to draw within two (23-21) with a Leedham layup with 3:37 to play in the frame. The Skyhawks led by five (30-25) on a Rousseau layup with 1:39 remaining, but the Cougars closed the frame with three-pointers from junior Stephanie Cadet (Elmont, N.Y./Elmont Memorial) and Jones to lead for the first time at the break (31-30).

Stonehill regained the lead in the early stages of the second half (37-33) after a three-pointer and steal and layup by O'Kane 2:21 in. However, Caldwell posted a 12-0 run to take an eight point lead (45-37) after a jumper from junior Willeen Capehart (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) with 12:32 to play. The Cougars lead grew to 11 (52-41) after a Cadet three as the half passed the midway point on their way to the 12-point apex prior to Stonehill's winning rally.

Stonehill (4-1, 0-1 NE-10) returns to action on Tuesday when it visits Merrimack College for a Northeast-10 matchup in North Andover, Mass., at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Sunday, November 28, to host Saint Michael's College at 1:30 p.m. Caldwell (1-2, 0-0 CACC) travels to Cheyney University on Tuesday at 6 p.m.