Assumption Rallies Past Stonehill, 78-63

Senior Kristen McWhirter led Stonehill with 17 points to go with four assists and a career-best four blocked shots. (PHOTO by Bert Lane) 

Meredith leads Greyhounds with 23 points, eight rebounds

EASTON, Mass. (January 11, 2010) – Assumption College overcame a slow start and an 11 point halftime deficit to collect a 78-63 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior Kelly Meredith (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) led Assumption with a game-high 23 points (13 first half), eight rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Sabrina Siciliano (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Warde) notched a double-double with 14 points, on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, ten rebounds and three assists, while classmate Gabrielle Gibson (Amityville, N.Y./Copaigue) scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half, on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Senior Molly Griffiths (Walpole, Mass./Ursuline) rounded out the Greyhounds double-figure scorers with 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals.

Freshman Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) fell just an assist shy of a triple double for Stonehill, finishing with career-highs of 15 points, ten rebounds and nine assists with two steals. She shot 5-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, while converting 3-of-5 free-throw attempts. Senior Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) led the Skyhawks with 17 points (14 first half), four assists, a career-high four blocked shots and three rebounds, while freshman Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) contributed 14 points, on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, eight rebounds and three assists.

Freshman Mary Louise Dixon nearly notched her first career triple double, finishing with season-highs of 15 points, ten rebounds and nine assists. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Assumption missed its first 13 shots from the field, scoring its first field goal of the night at the midway point of the first half on a Siciliano layup with Stonehill holding a 19-4 lead at the time. The Greyhounds shot 55.6-percent (20-for-36) from the field in the second half to finish shooting 40.6% (28-69) from the field overall while converting 14-of-18 (77.8%) free-throws. Assumption took advantage of 27 Stonehill turnovers for a 32-9 edge in points off turnovers for the night. The Skyhawks finished shooting 47.2% (25-for-53) from the field after hitting 56% (14-25) of their shots in the opening half.

It was a tale of two halves as Assumption trailed by as much as 16 points in the first half before coming back for its third-straight win. Stonehill led by 11 (37-26) at the half behind 56-percent (14-25) shooting, compared to 24.2% (8-33) shooting by the Greyhounds. Assumption drew within four (40-36) after a layup from Siciliano 2:30 into the second half. The Skyhawks answered and regained a 12-point cushion (50-38) after a Dixon three and Ewing layup with 13:51 to play.

A 14-1 run pulled Assumption within a point (54-53) after two-straight Gibson layups with 8:30 remaining. Stonehill still led by three (58-55) after an O'Kane jumper with 5:47 left, but Assumption reeled off six straight points to take the lead (61-58) after two straight baskets from Siciliano with 3:23 to play. O'Kane pulled the Skyhawks within a point (61-60) with 3:08 left, but the Greyhounds closed the game out with a 13-3 run to seal the win. Meredith sparked the closing stretch with a conventional three point play and added a three-pointer as well during the run.

Assumption didn't score a field goal until Siciliano scored a layup with 10:05 remaining in the opening half as Stonehill opened the game with a 19-3 lead after two free-throws from junior Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) with 11:51 remaining in the half. The Skyhawks scored the first 11 points of the contest, capped by a McWhirter three 3:51 into the game.

Assumption drew within five (25-20) on a Gibson three 4:35 before halftime, but Stonehill pushed the lead back into double figures (35-22) following a three-point play by McWhirter 2:10 before halftime.

Stonehill (9-6, 4-6 NE-10) is back in action on Sunday when it visits the University of New Haven for a Conference clash at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Saturday, January 22, to host Adelphi University at 1:30 p.m. Assumption (11-3, 9-1 NE-10) hosts 15th-ranked Bentley University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.