#18 Stonehill Nets 20th Win at Saint Michael’s, 70-58

Junior Mary Louise Dixon led the Skyhawks with 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Skyhawks reach 20 win mark for 23rd time in program history, eighth under Brown and first since 2009-10

COLCHESTER, Vt. (February 16, 2013) – Stonehill College, ranked 18th in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, reached the 20-win plateau for the 23rd time in the program's 42 year history with a 70-58 victory over Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Ross Sports Center this afternoon.

Stonehill's 20-win campaign (20-3, 16-3 NE-10) is the eighth in the 12 years head coach Trisha Brown has been at the helm, but the Skyhawks first since the 2009-10 season. Stonehill also maintains its two game lead over third place UMass Lowell and Assumption College in the NE-10 standings, also holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over both, as well as a three-game lead over fifth place Franklin Pierce University with three games to play. The Skyhawks presently hold the NE-10 tiebreaker over the Ravens as a result of a win over Assumption (Franklin Pierce lost to the Greyhounds).

Junior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), fresh off her triple-double performance on Wednesday night, fell just a rebound shy of a double-double today as she led Stonehill with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, a game-high matching nine rebounds, four assists (just one turnover) and two steals.

Classmate Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) also netted 16 points for Stonehill to go with eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Sophomore Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) contributed nine points and three assists, while junior Abbey Lalime (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) chipped in with eight points and three boards.

Classmate Asia Ewing also netted 16 points, adding eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Senior Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) led Saint Michael's with a game-high 19 points, including the 1,000th of her career, with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Classmate Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) added 15 points and a game-high matching nine rebounds, while freshman Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) registered 11 points as she made all four of her shots from the field with four rebounds and three steals. Junior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) rounded out the Purple Knights double-figure scorers with ten points on 4-of-7 shooting, four rebounds and two blocked shots.

Stonehill finished shooting 46.2-percent (30-for-65) from the field after hitting at 48.5% (16-for-33) in the first half to build a 14 point (38-24) halftime lead. The Skyhawks were 7-for-22 (31.8%) from three-point range and 3-for-5 (60%) from the free-throw line. Stonehill posted a 37-33 rebounding edge and its bench outscored the Saint Michael's reserves 23-10.

Saint Michael's was held to 39.2-percent (20-for-51) shooting overall, including 30.8% (8-for-26) in the first half, connecting on just 1-of-13 (7.7%) three-pointers and converting 17-of-25 (68%) free-throws.

Stonehill never trailed, scoring the first ten points of the contest on four points from Ewing and three-pointers by Dixon and sophomore Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) through the opening five minutes. Saint Michael's didn't score a field goal for the first seven minutes of the game, allowing the Skyhawks to open a 13 point lead (15-2) after a three ball from Dixon.

The Stonehill lead was extended to 15 (19-4) with a Pelletier jumper with 11:43 to play in the half. Saint Michael's used a 12-4 run to close back within seven (23-16) as Long made two free-throws with 6:59 remaining. The Skyhawks responded with a 9-2 push to regain a 14 point cushion (32-18) as sophomore Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) made one of two at the line 3:25 before halftime. The Purple Knights would close back within ten, but the Skyhawks got three-pointers from Lalime and Ewing to carry their 14 point lead (38-24) into halftime.

Stonehill scored the first six points of the second half to open a 20 point advantage (44-24) after a Dixon layup under three minutes in. The Skyhawks lead grew to 23 (49-26) on a Lalime three with 14:21 to play and the lead wouldn't dip below 18 until the final minutes of the game and Saint Michael's closed to within the final 12 point deficit.

Stonehill returns home on Wednesday to host Southern New Hampshire University for an NE-10 matchup in Merkert Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (9-14, 7-12 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

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