Stonehill Turns Back Saint Anselm in OT, 66-64

Senior Emily Rousseau posted her fourth 20-point outing of the year as she led the Skyhawks past Saint Anselm with a game-high 21 points. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Rousseau leads Skyhawks to first overtime win in three tries with 21 points

EASTON, Mass. (December 1, 2010) –Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II coaches' poll, proved the third time is the charm by claiming its first overtime win in three tries this season with a 66-64 victory over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior guard Emily Rousseau (Biddford, Maine/Biddeford) led four Stonehill players in double-figures with 21 points as she made 6-of-18 shots from the field, including 4-for-7 from three-point range, while converting all five free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds and four assists. Senior Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) totaled 17 points, shooting 6-for-13 from the field, and four assists. Senior Amanda Smith (Penacook, N.H./Merrimack Valley) and freshman Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) each posted a season-high 12 points, with Smith making 6-of-9 shots from the field and Ewing pulling down five boards.

Junior Epiphany Smith (Springdale, Ark./Har-Ber) scored a team-high 18 points to lead Saint Anselm to go with five assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Curran Leighton (Dover, N.H./Dover) added 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Morgan Frame (Waterville, Maine/Waterville) chipped in eight points off the bench for the Hawks.

Freshman Asia Ewing posted a season-high 12 points to go with five rebounds tonight.

Stonehill overcame 36.7-percent (22-for-60) shooting from the field, by converting 8-of-20 (40%) three-pointers and committing just ten turnovers on the night. The Skyhawks shot just 30.8% (8-26) in the second half, including 1-for-6 (16.7%) from beyond the arc. Saint Anselm shot 47.3% (26-for-55) from the field, but just 4-for-13 (30.8%) from deep, and converted 8-of-11 (72.7%) free-throw attempts. The Hawks also posted a 42-27 rebounding advantage that resulted in a 15-8 edge in second chance points.

Stonehill scored the first five points of the overtime period with two Ewing free-throws and a Rousseau three to give the Skyhawks the early advantage (58-53). Saint Anselm scored the next six points to take the lead (59-58) after a layup by junior Megan Howard (Saint Paul, Minn./Central) off a turnover with 1:35 remaining. Leighton also keyed the run with four points, including a three-point play to knot the score with 2:11 left.

Rousseau answered with a three-ball to put Stonehill back in front with 1:16 to go. McWhirter followed up with a layup off her own steal with 57-seconds left as the Skyhawks regained a five-point lead (64-59) after McWhirter made one of two at the line with 23-seconds remaining. The Hawks wouldn't go down quietly as senior Jennifer Gureckis (Nashua, N.H./New Hampton Prep) buried a three to pull within two (64-62) with 13-seconds left. However, Rousseau drained two free-throws at the other end to run her streak to 29-straight made to ice the win before Smith scored a layup at the other end with 0.2-seconds to go that rounded out the scoring.

Postgame Interviews

Stonehill rallied to force overtime as both teams went scoreless over the final 2:28 of regulation. Saint Anselm led by four (53-49) with 3:09 remaining after two straight layups from Howard. Ewing split a pair of free-throw attempts for Stonehill before Rousseau knotted the score (53-53) with a three-point play with 2:28 to go.The Skyhawks missed its last three field goals and the Hawks had three turnovers and missed its lone shot attempt in the final two and a half minutes to send the game to an extra period.

Neither team led by more than six (Saint Anselm, 40-34, 17:34 2nd half) in the game which featured five ties and 15 lead changes throughout.

Stonehill (6-2, 2-2 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits Southern New Hampshire University for an NE-10 matchup at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks don't return home again until Wednesday, January 5, to host Southern Connecticut State University at 5:30 p.m. Saint Anselm (3-4, 1-3 NE-10) hosts the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.