#17 Stonehill Stifles Assumption, 57-44

Junior Mary Louise Dixon led the Skyhawks with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Skyhawks hold Greyhounds under 29-percent shooting for key win

EASTON, Mass. (January 15, 2013) – Stonehill College, who moved up six spots to No. 17 in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, turned in its best defensive performance of the season to claim a key 57-44 triumph over Assumption College, among teams receiving votes nationally, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) was the lone Stonehill player in double-figures, leading a balanced offensive effort with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, connecting on her lone three point attempt, and converting both free-throw attempts to go with six rebounds, five assists and a steal. Sophomore Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) added nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, including a three-pointer, with five rebounds and four blocked shots, while classmate Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) posted nine points on 3-of-6 shooting, including a turnaround half court buzzer-beater to end the first half, three assists, a blocked shot and steal. Junior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) pulled down a game-high matching ten rebounds to go with four points, five blocked shots and three assists.

Stonehill held Assumption to 28.4-percent (19-for-67) shooting from the field, including 19.4% (6-31) in the first half, and just 2-for-13 (15.4%) from three-point range as the Skyhawks blocked ten shots in the contest and forced ten turnovers. The Skyhawks finished with a 43-41 rebounding edge, and shot 41.8% (23-55) from the field, including 46.2% (12-26) in the second half to pull away, while connecting on 6-of-15 (40%) three-pointers.

Senior Gabrielle Gibson (Amityville, N.Y./Copaigue) led Assumption with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, while converting 2-of-3 free-throws to go with six rebounds. Classmate Sabrina Siciliano (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield-Warde) posted a double-double with 12 points and ten rebounds (five offensive), shooting 6-for-15 from the field, and three steals.

Sophomore Tori Faieta contributed nine points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Assumption posted a 14-4 advantage in points off turnovers and a 17-11 edge in second chance points. Stonehill connected on 5-of-6 (83.3%) free-throws on the night, while the Greyhounds were 4-for-11 (36.4%) at the stripe.

The teams combined for just 15 points through the first ten minutes before Stonehill started to earn some breathing room with an 8-0 run over five minutes to turn a one point (9-8) deficit into a seven point cushion (16-9) after a layup from freshman Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) with 4:58 left in the half. Pelletier and Dixon sparked the run with three-pointers for the Skyhawks.

Stonehill stretched the lead to eight points (21-13) with a basket from sophomore Ashley Gendron (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Memorial) with 3:24 remaining. Assumption closed within four (21-17) after a layup by Siciliano with 2:31 to go, but Stonehill scored the final nine points of the half to take a 13 point lead (30-17) into halftime after Panton's half court buzzer-beater.

Stonehill pushed the lead to 17 (38-21) on a Panton layup five minutes into the second half. Assumption responded with an 11-2 run to close within eight (40-32) after a Siciliano basket with 10:34 remaining. That would be as close as the Greyhounds would get as Stonehill reeled off a 17-4 clinching run to take a 21 point lead (57-36) with a Faieta layup with 4:59 on the clock. Six straight points from Dixon and seven from Faieta keyed the run for the Skyhawks.

Stonehill are now winners of five straight and improve to 8-0 at home with the win. The Skyhawks are now two full games clear Assumption, Franklin Pierce University and UMass Lowell who are tied for third place, holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over all three.

Stonehill (13-1, 9-1 NE-10) hits the road for a pair of games starting Saturday at Le Moyne College at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Saturday, January 26, to host Southern Connecticut State University at 1:30 p.m. Assumption (10-4, 7-3 NE-10) hosts Saint Anselm College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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Jamie Panton's Half Court Buzzer-Beater
Postgame Interviews