#23 Stonehill Rallies Past New Haven, 73-70

Sophomore Jamie Panton established a scoring career-high for the second straight game with a game-high 22 points, including 13 in the second half comeback. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Sophomores lead Skyhawks to third straight win with career-high scoring nights

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (January 9, 2013) – Stonehill College, ranked 23rd in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, rallied from a 17 point second half deficit to claim a 73-70 victory over the University of New Haven in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Charger Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomores Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) and Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) combined for 39 points to lead the way for Stonehill with career-high scoring performances for both. Panton established a new career-high for the second straight game with 22 points (13 second half) on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, to go with four rebounds and two assists. Faieta scored 15 of her career-best 17 points in the second half, shooting just 5-for-13 from the field, but converting all seven free-throw attempts and adding four rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.

Junior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) added nine points, converting 7-of-8 free-throws, a team-high nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) also contributed nine points with three rebounds and two assists, while junior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) chipped in seven points, eight rebounds, five assists, a block and two steals.

Sophomore Ashley LeBlanc (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) led the way for New Haven with a double-double performance of 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. Classmate Bria Moore (West Haven, Conn./Hill Regional Career) also finished with 12 points for the Chargers, while junior Anh-Dao Tran (Webster, Mass./Holy Name) posted 11 points, seven assists, three rebounds and a steal. Freshman Lauren Hebert (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) chipped in ten points on 3-of-4 shooting from three-point range off the bench with three rebounds.

Stonehill shot 38.1-percent (24-for-63) from the field, including 9-for-30 (30%) from three-point range, but took advantage of 84.2-percent (16-for-19) shooting from the free-throw line. New Haven finished with a 45-34 rebounding advantage, but second chance points were basically even at 17-16 for the Chargers. The Skyhawks edged the Chargers 17-15 in points off turnovers with 11 miscues compared to 14 for the hosts.

New Haven finished shooting 40.3-percent (27-for-67) from the field after hitting at 48.6-percent (18-for-37) in building as much as an 18 point first half lead, but shot just 30% (9-30) in the second half. The Chargers made 36.8% (7-19) of their three-pointers and converted 9-of-14 free-throws (64.3%) on the night.

Sophomore Tori Faieta scored 15 of her career-best 17 points in the second half for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Stonehill's first lead of the game came with just 1:12 remaining in regulation as Faieta converted a conventional three-point play (71-69). The Skyhawks held New Haven without a field goal over the final 5:35 and finished the game with a 14-2 run as the Chargers missed on their final eight shots from the field, converted just two of four free-throws and added three turnovers down the stretch.

After a miss on the New Haven end, Ewing made one of two at the line to push the lead to three points (72-69) with 40-seconds to play. Freshman Briana Bradford (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) split two free-throws at the other end and Tran snared the offensive rebound, but the Chargers couldn't take advantage by missing two shots before Ewing grabbed the defensive rebound with 11-seconds remaining.

Ewing was fouled and split her two attempts to put the lead to three (73-70) and give New Haven a last shot, but Tran's three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark to send Stonehill home with the comeback win.

New Haven jumped out to an early 8-2 lead three minutes into the game, keyed by a Tran three-pointer. A 13-0 Chargers run turned a four point lead into a 17 point (28-11) cushion after a jumper from junior Ayana Duncanson (Elmont, N.Y./Francis Lewis) with 8:40 left in the first half. Six different New Haven players scored baskets during that stretch.

A Panton three-pointer drew Stonehill within 14 (30-16) with 6:39 remaining, but New Haven extended the lead to a game-high 18 points (34-16) with a Moore jumper with 6:12 to play. Stonehill trimmed the lead to ten points (39-29) with a 13-5 stretch capped by a Dixon jumper with 1:16 left before halftime.

New Haven pushed the lead back to 13 (44-31) at halftime and regained a 17 point margin (51-34) after a Moore free-throw two minutes into the second half. Stonehill started to chip away, closing the gap to 12 (51-39) with a Faieta hoop with 16:47 remaining. A Pelletier three-pointer drew the Skyhawks within single digits (63-54) with 11:33 to play, sparking a 10-0 run that would cut the deficit to four (63-59) after a Panton three ball with 7:10 to go. New Haven worked the lead back to nine (68-59) after Moore's basket with 5:35 left before Stonehill mounted its winning rally.

Stonehill (11-1, 7-1 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it returns to Merkert Gymnasium for the first time in 42 days to host The College of Saint Rose at 1:30 p.m. New Haven (6-6, 5-3 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.