Stonehill Turns Over Merrimack, 81-70

Freshman Amy Pelletier canned 4-of-5 three-pointers to lead six Skyhawks in double-figures with 18 points.

Pelletier leads six Skyhawks in double figures with 18 points

EASTON, Mass. (November 27, 2011) – Stonehill College placed six players in double figures and scored 31 points off turnovers in claiming its first conference win of the season with an 81-70 decision over Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Freshman Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) led six Stonehill players in double-figures with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, and three assists. Sophomore Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) posted her second double-double of the season (third career) with 11 points and a game-high matching ten rebounds (seven offensive).

Senior Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) added 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field while converting 5-of-6 free-throws to go with five rebounds, two assists and three steals. Sophomore Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) contributed 12 points, aided by 6-for-6 shooting at the line, six assists and five boards, while senior Priscilla Dodoo (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) posted ten points, shooting 4-for-7 from the floor, four steals and three assists. Freshman Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) chipped in 11 points off the bench.

Stonehill finished shooting 47.6-percent (30-for-63) from the field, including 52.9% (18-34) in the first half. The Skyhawks made 5-of-10 from three-point range (50%) and converted 16-of-17 (94.1%) free-throw attempts. The Skyhawks posted a 31-10 advantage in points off turnovers, including a 22-4 margin the first half, as Merrimack was punished for its 21 miscues on the afternoon, compared to 15 giveaways for the hosts. Stonehill also turned a 30-25 rebounding advantage, including 16 offensive boards, into an 11-4 edge for second chance points.

Sophomore Asia Ewing notched her third career double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds. (PHOTO BY Gil Talbot)

Junior Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) led all scorers with 28 points for Merrimack as she made 12-of-13 shots from the field and converted all four free-throw attempts and finished off her double-double with a game high matching ten rebounds to go with three blocked shots and four steals. Senior Gennifer Roy (Granby, Mass./Granby) made 6-of-12 shots from the floor for 12 points, while junior Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass./Reading) contributed ten points and three assists off the bench.

Merrimack shot 56.9-percent (29-for-51) from the field, including a red-hot 62.5% (15-24) in the first half, but just 3-for-11 (27.3%) from three point range, while converting all nine free-throw attempts.

Stonehill never trailed in the contest, scoring the first five points of the game on a Dixon layup and Pelletier three just over a minute and a half in. The Skyhawks lead was a point (11-10) after a third-straight layup by Schatzlein 5:35 into the half, but the hosts opened a seven point cushion (17-10) on a jumper from senior captain Cori O'Kane (Pocasset, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) with 12:38 left in the half.

Stonehill worked its lead to a first half high of 11 points (33-22) on a Williams jumper with 3:28 left in the frame. The Skyhawks settled for a nine point (40-31) halftime cushion and Merrimack scored the opening basket of the second half, but quickly opened a 14 point advantage (49-35) on a three-pointer from Ewing three and a half minutes in.

Stonehill worked its lead to 15 (52-37) when Faieta converted a conventional three point play four minutes into the half. The Skyhawks lead grew to a game-high 16 (59-43) after a Pelletier three with 12:11 remaining, but Merrimack wouldn't go quietly, drawing within nine (59-50) on a layup by freshman Angie Michalski (Sandwich, N.H./Holderness) at the midway point of the half.

Stonehill regained a 13 point lead (69-56) on a Pelletier three with 6:45 remaining. Merrimack closed the gap to eight (71-63) on a three by junior Katie Ganser (Needham, Mass./Needham) with 4:56 to go and was within seven (77-70) on a three by Lyons with 1:31 to play, but Dixon drained all four free-throw attempts down the stretch to seal the Skyhawks first NE-10 win of the season.      

Stonehill (4-2, 1-2 NE-10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gym on Wednesday night when it hosts the University of Massachusetts Lowell at 5:30 p.m. Merrimack (1-4, 0-3 NE-10) visits Saint Anselm College on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

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