Stonehill Tops Saint Rose in Defensive Struggle, 44-37

Sophomore Anna Griffin led all Stonehill scorers with 12 points in 16 minutes off the bench. 

Big defensive effort, strong rebounding propels Skyhawks to fifth-straight win

EASTON, Mass. (January 29, 2011) – Stonehill College, ranked eighth in this week's NCAA Division II East Regional poll, held The College of Saint Rose, ranked seventh in the region, without a field goal over the final five minutes to claim a 44-37 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Sophomore Anna Griffin (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson) led Stonehill on the offensive end with 12 points, shooting 5-for-10 from the field and converting 2-of-3 free-throws, to go with three rebounds and three blocked shots in 16 minutes off the bench. Freshman Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) added ten points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while junior Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) contributed eight points and 11 rebounds. Senior Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) chipped in with nine points, seven boards and two steals.

Junior Ali Johnson (Falls Church, Va./George C. Marshall) led Saint Rose with a double-double effort of a game-high 14 points, shooting 5-for-10 from the field and converting 4-of-7 free-throws, and 15 rebounds (12 first half) with three blocked shots. Classmate Ola Shajuyigbe (Albany, N.Y./Colonie) added 11 points, aided by 6-for-6 shooting at the line, while Senior Lynsey Timbrouck (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) chipped in five points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals.

Freshman Asia Ewing contributed ten points and eight boards. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Stonehill finished shooting 27.3-percent (15-for-55) from the field, including 1-for-7 (14.3%) from three-point range, but converted 13-of-16 (81.3%) of its free-throws. The Skyhawks posted a 45-35 rebounding advantage, which resulted in a 10-3 edge in second chance points, and saw their bench outscore the Saint Rose reserves 12-0. The Golden Knights were held to 25-percent (11-for-44) shooting from the field, including 4-for-21 (19%) in the first half, hitting 1-of-8 (12.5%) three-pointers on the day. Both teams turned the ball over 20 times.

A 12-3 Saint Rose run over the span of nine minutes turned a five point (27-22) Stonehill lead into a four point (34-30) cushion for the Golden Knights after a Johnson free-throw with 4:18 to play. That came one possession after a Shajuyigbe layup put the guests up three, marking their final field goal of the night.

Stonehill tightened up its defense and regained the lead with a layup from freshman Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) with 1:42 to play. Johnson made one of two at the line again to keep Saint Rose within a point (38-37) with 29-seconds to play, but the Skyhawks made their last six free-throw attempts and the Golden Knights turned the ball over twice and missed on a three-pointer down the stretch to seal the win.

Saint Rose scored the first ten points of the contest, six from Johnson, to take the early initiative in the opening three and a half minutes. Stonehill held the Golden Knights to just six points the rest of the half, taking its first lead (14-12) after a Ewing layup with 6:15 to go in the half. The Skyhawks extended the advantage to five points (21-16) at the half when Williams beat the halftime buzzer with a put back.

Stonehill (14-6, 9-6 NE-10) is back in action on Wednesday when it visits Franklin Pierce University for a key NE-10 matchup at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Saturday, February 6, to host the University of Massachusetts Lowell for its WBCA PinkZone event at 1:30 p.m. Saint Rose (14-5, 10-5 NE-10) visits Assumption College on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Postgame Interviews