Slow Start Costs Stonehill at Franklin Pierce, 91-79

Freshman Mary Louise Dixon netted a season-high 27 points, but her 19 second half points, couldn't pull the Skyhawks out of a big halftime hole. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Ravens use 60-percent shooting to key victory over Skyhawks

RINDGE, N.H. (February 1, 2011) – Franklin Pierce University, among teams receiving votes in this week's USA Today/ESPN/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, shot over 60-percent from the field to key a 91-79 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at The Fieldhouse tonight.

Junior Jewel White (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) led Franklin Pierce with 22 points, shooting 8-of-11 from the field, five rebounds and four blocked shots. Classmate Marielle Giroud (Martigny, Switzerland) added a double-double of ten points and a game-high 13 rebounds with three assists and two steals. Sophomore Tiffany Johnson (St. Albans, Vt./Bellows Free Academy) contributed 19 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the field while draining all three three-point attempts, and converting both free-throw attempts, to go with eight assists, four rebounds and four steals. Junior Lekia Cowen (Hopedale, Mass./Hopedale) chipped in with 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor, draining both three-point attempts, and converting 6-of-8 free-throws.

Stonehill got a season-high 27 points (19 second half) from freshman Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) as she made 8-of-15 shots from the field, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, while converting all nine free-throw attempts to go with three rebounds and three assists. Classmate Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) added 12 points, a team-high eight rebounds and two steals, while senior Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) contributed 11 points and four assists. Junior Cori O'Kane (Pocasset, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) chipped in with ten points, connecting on 2-of-4 three's, three assists and two steals.

Freshman Asia Ewing contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane) 

Franklin Pierce shot 60.4-percent (32-for-53) from the field, including 8-of-17 (47.1%) from three-point range, and posted a 37-24 rebounding advantage for the night. The Ravens shot 61.9% (13-21) from the field in the second half to preserve a 20-point (48-28) halftime lead. Stonehill finished shooting 40.7% (24-59) from the field, but just 26.7% (8-30) in the first half while the Ravens made 59.4% (19-32) of their shots in the frame, including 7-for-14 (50%) from beyond the arc. The Skyhawks made 6-of-12 (50%) three-pointers on the night, including 6-for-8 (75%) in the second half, and converted 96.2% (25-26) of their free-throws while posting a 14-8 edge in points off turnovers.

Franklin Pierce charged in front early, staking out an 18-4 lead after a Johnson three four and a half minutes into the game. The Ravens extended the lead to 18 (24-6) after a three from sophomore Amanda Saab (Windham, N.H./Salem) with 13:03 left in the first half. Stonehill made just 1-of-6 shots from the field during that opening span and turned the ball over four times.

Franklin Pierce ran the lead to 21 (29-8) after a three by freshman Brittany Martelle (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) with 12:40 left before halftime, before Stonehill showed some life. The Skyhawks trimmed the lead to 14 points (35-21) with 5:47 left in the half after four-straight points from Dixon. The Ravens reeled off ten-straight points to push their lead to a game-high 24 (45-21) less than two minutes later after a Cowen three before settling for the 20 points halftime margin.

Trailing by 20 (68-48) after a White layup with 11:43 remaining in regulation, Stonehill started to chip away once again, drawing within 13 (68-55) after two free-throws by junior Priscilla Dodoo (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) with 10:26 left. A three by O'Kane pulled the Skyhawks within 11 (73-62) with 6:55 to go and they were back within ten (82-72) after a Dixon jumper with 2:01 left. Franklin Pierce was able to seal the win by making seven of eight free-throws down the stretch.

Stonehill (14-7, 9-7 NE-10) returns to action on Saturday when it hosts the University of Massachusetts Lowell for its WBCA PinkZone event in Merkert Gymnasium at 1:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (17-5, 13-3 NE-10) travels to Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.