AIC Pulls Away Late Against #13 Stonehill, 59-55

Junior Mary Louise Dixon scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half and posted her fourth career double-double tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Yellow Jackets defense stops Skyhawks six game winning streak 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 23, 2013) – American International College handed Stonehill College, ranked 13th in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, its first loss of the New Year and put an end to its six game winning streak with a 59-55 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Henry A. Butova Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) and freshman Sydney Tepley (Racine, Wis./St. Catherine's) each posted double-doubles to lead American International to the upset win. Ferrentino tallied a team-high 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting with 11 rebounds and five steals, while Tepley added 11 goals and a game-high 13 rebounds. Junior Sarah Noble (Windsor, Ontario/Holy Names) contributed 16 points (10 first half) on 6-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-2 from three-point range, and converting all three free-throws. Sophomore Alyssa Roach (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) chipped in with nine assists.

Junior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) and sophomore Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) posted double-doubles to lead the way for Stonehill. Dixon led with a game-high 19 points (12 second half) and a season-high ten rebounds for her first double-double since her freshman season (fourth career) to go with five assists as she made 7-of-13 shots from the field and converted all four free-throw attempts. Faieta posted her second-straight double-double (second career) with 12 points and ten rebounds with two assists.

Sophomore Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) drained 3-of-6 three-pointers for nine points, while junior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) chipped in with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, converting both free-throws, and seven boards.

Sophomore Tori Faieta posted her second straight double-double for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

American International shot 42.1-percent (24-for-57), including 46.2% (12-26) in the second half to pull away, and posted a 16-9 advantage in second chance points despite getting outrebounded by Stonehill 41-34. The Skyhawks were held to 38.9-percent (21-for-54) shooting, including 5-for-19 (26.3%) from three-point range, connecting on just 36.7% (11-30) of their shots in the second half.

After a conventional three-point play from Faieta knotted the score (40-40) at the midway point of the second half, American International started to take control. Noble keyed an 8-2 spurt that put AIC up six (48-42) with 5:27 to play. Panton answered with a three-pointer to pull Stonehill within three (48-45) with 5:21 remaining, but the Yellow Jackets scored seven straight points to open their largest lead (55-45) after a jumper from junior Erica Johnson (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods) with 2:19 left. Noble finished with four points during that stretch.

Six straight points from Dixon pulled Stonehill within four (55-51) with 1:04 remaining. Noble converted a three point play to put AIC back up seven (58-51) with 32-seconds to play and Dixon responded again with four straight points to cut the Skyhawks gap to as little as three (58-55) with eight seconds to play, but they could get no closer as the Yellow Jackets held on to snap the Skyhawks six game winning streak.

Stonehill carried the early momentum, staking out an 11-6 lead eight minutes into the contest after back to back baskets from Faieta to cap a 9-0 run. American International responded with ten straight points to open a five point lead (16-11) of its own with 9:40 left in the half after six straight points from Ferrentino. The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to seven (22-15) after a Roach layup with 6:38 on the clock and then pushed the gap to nine (26-17) with 5:24 to play before the half after two straight baskets by Tepley.

Stonehill cut the lead back to two (26-24) on a Faieta layup with 3:16 left in the half, but AIC regained a six point cushion (30-24) at the intermission. The Skyhawks pulled within a point (30-29) after Faieta made one of two at the line a minute and a half into the second half and then drew even (34-34) with a Panton three-pointer three and a half in. Sophomore Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) put Stonehill in front (37-36) with a three-pointer with 13:46 on the clock.

Ferrentino answered with four straight points to put American International back in front (40-37) with 12:10 on the clock before Faieta forced the final deadlock with her three point play with 9:57 to play.   

Stonehill (14-2, 10-2 NE-10) returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Southern Connecticut State University at 1:30 p.m. American International (9-7, 6-6 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.