#18 Stonehill Fires Past UMass Lowell, 103-93

Junior guard Mary Louise Dixon posted the third triple-double in program history and set a school-record by making all 17 free-throw attempts to lead the Skyhawks to a huge win tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Dixon triple-double and Faieta double-double key huge Skyhawks win
Dixon notches third triple-double in program history, sets single game free-throw percentage record

EASTON, Mass. (February 13, 2013) – Stonehill College, ranked 18th in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, posted a key late season 103-93 triumph over the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior guard Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) led Stonehill to its first 100 point game since a 108-38 victory over Concordia (N.Y.) College on November 26, 2006, with just the third triple-double in the program's 42 year history. She joins Jillian Middlemiss and Becky Barrett in the program's triple-double club, with Dixon posting the first since Middlemiss had 15 points, ten rebounds and ten assists in a win over Southern Connecticut State University on January 23, 2003. Dixon finished with 19 points, aided by a school-record 17-for-17 performance at the free-throw line, to go with a career-best 16 assists and team-high matching 13 rebounds. Her 17 made free-throws matches the program record set by former All-American Kelsey Simonds who was 17-for-19 in an 87-75 win over Bryant University on February 19, 2008 and her 16 assists were just two shy of the program's single-game mark.

Sophomore Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) posted her sixth career double-double (all this season) with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, converting 6-of-9 free-throws, with 13 rebounds, four blocked shots, two assists and two steals. Junior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) also netted 22 points, matching her career-best with the season-high total, as she made 10-of-18 shots from the field and pulled down nine rebounds. Sophomore Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) contributed 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, with four assists and three rebounds, while freshman Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) chipped by scoring 11 of her season-high 15 points in the first half on 6-for-7 shooting, including both three-pointers, with four boards and a season-best three blocked shots.

Senior Bianca Simmons (Middletown, Conn./Mercy), Division II's leading scorer, led UMass Lowell with 35 points, including 19 in the second half, on 10-for-26 shooting, including 1-for-5 from beyond the arc, and converting 14-of-15 free-throws to go with a game-high 14 rebounds and five assists. Senior Ashley Rivera (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) added 20 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including 3-for-7 from deep, and converting all three free-throw attempts with two rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Demetria Bell (Braintree, Mass./Tabor Academy) grabbed ten of her 12 rebounds on the offensive glass, adding five points and five steals.

Sophomore Tori Faieta posted her sixth career double-double with a career-best 22 points to go with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Stonehill shot 51.5-percent (35-for-68) from the field, including 54.5% (18-33) in the second half, and converted 25-of-30 (83.3%) free-throws on the night, including 22-for-25 (88%) in the second half. The Skyhawks forged a 58-46 rebounding advantage, but UMass Lowell held a 25-20 edge in second chance points as the River Hawks reigned in 26 offensive boards. UML also made the most of Stonehill's 25 turnovers by posting a 29-12 advantage in points off turnovers. UMass Lowell was held to 33-percent (32-for-97) shooting, including 8-for-29 (27.6%) from deep, converting 21-of-27 (77.8%) free-throws.

Stonehill held a seven point (41-34) halftime lead and quickly pushed its lead to 11 (47-36) after a Dixon jumper (her lone field goal of the night) a minute and a half into the second half. The Skyhawks went on to open the second half with a 20-2 run to stake out a 23 point lead (61-38) with 14:37 remaining after four-straight three-pointers, two from Pelletier.

Stonehill's lead was still 20 (65-45) after an Ashley Gendron (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Memorial) jumper with 12:30 on the clock, when UMass Lowell started to chip away. The River Hawks crept to within 12 (72-60) on a Rivera three with 9:26 left and was back within 11 (73-62) after a jumper by freshman Jennifer Gonsalves (Harwich, Mass./Harwich) with nine minutes to go.

Stonehill would hold there and scored ten straight points to run its lead back to 21 (83-62) after two free-throws by Faieta with 7:16 on the clock. The Skyhawks lead was still 21 (89-68) after a Ewing layup with 4:50 remaining and 18 (96-78) following another Ewing layup with 1:53 to play, but UMass Lowell was still able to cut the gap to 11 (96-85) when Rivera was fouled shooting a three and drained all three free-throws with 1:25 still to play.

Stonehill held and converted four of five free-throws and got a key basket from Ewing with 32-seconds to play to end all hopes of a dramatic comeback.

Neither team led by more than a possession over the opening nine minutes of the game before UMass Lowell worked what would prove to be a game-high four point edge (24-20) on a three-pointer from freshman Melissa Frase (Tamworth, N.J./Kennett) with 10:22 remaining in the half. The River Hawks lead was two (28-26) after Simmons broke the fifth deadlock of the half with a layup with 7:40 remaining in the half before Stonehill reeled off a 12-0 run to open a ten point advantage (38-28) on a Pelletier three with 4:58 left.

Stonehill took an 11 point lead (41-30) after a three-point play by Faieta with 2:51 left before settling for the seven point (41-34) halftime edge.

Stonehill now holds a two game lead over UMass Lowell and Assumption College for second place in the NE-10 standings, also holding the head-to-head tiebreaker against both with four games to play.

Stonehill (19-3, 15-3 NE-10) hits the road on Saturday to visit Saint Michael's College for an NE-10 matchup at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, February 20, to host Southern New Hampshire University at 7:30 p.m. UMass Lowell (16-6, 13-5 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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