#11 Stonehill Holds Off Saint Anselm, 57-47

Junior Asia Ewing posted her 12th career double-double to lead the Skyhawks tonight with 14 points and ten boards. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Skyhawks head into postseason winners of six straight and nine of ten

MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 26, 2013) – Stonehill College, who moved up three spots to 11th in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, closed out the regular season winners of six straight and nine of its last ten after posting a 57-47 victory over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium tonight.

Stonehill (23-3, 19-3 NE-10) now awaits the winner of Friday's NE-10 Tournament first round matchup between tenth-seeded Merrimack College (15-11, 11-11 NE-10) and seventh-seeded Pace University (14-12, 12-10 NE-10) when it hosts a quarterfinal clash at Merkert Gymnasium on Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m. Saint Anselm closes out its season with a 4-22 record overall, including a 1-21 mark in NE-10 play, having dropped its last 17 games dating back to December 6.

Junior forward Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) led Stonehill with her fourth double-double of the season (12th career) as she posted 14 points and ten rebounds to go with two blocked shots and two steals. Sophomore Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) was among three Skyhawks with 12 points as she made 6-of-7 shots from the field, with nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Junior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) added 12 points, seven assists and five boards, while sophomore Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) chipped in 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from three-point range, in 28 minutes off the bench.

Sophomore Tori Faieta added 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, nine rebounds and three blocks. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Senior Curran Leighton (Dover, N.H./Dover) notched a double-double to lead the way for Saint Anselm with a game-high matching 16 points and game-best 11 rebounds (seven offensive), three assists, three steals and two blocked shots as he made 7-of-14 shot from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point range. Junior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) also netted 16 points on 7-of-17 shooting, with four rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Stonehill finished shooting 37.5-percent (21-for-56) from the field after hitting at 54.5% (12-22) in the first half to build an 11 point (33-22) halftime lead, but were held to 26.5% (9-34) over the final 20 minutes. The Skyhawks connected on 7-of-22 (31.8%) three-pointers, including 5-11 (45.5%) in the first half, and made 8-of-10 (80%) free-throws. Stonehill registered a 41-34 rebounding edge and saw its bench outscore the Saint Anselm reserves 14-2. The Hawks shot 35.6% (21-for-59) from the field, including 1-for-5 (20%) from beyond the arc, and converted 4-of-9 (44.4%) free-throws.

The game was back and forth with neither team leading by more than three points over the opening 15 minutes until Stonehill caught fire with a 14-2 run to open a 13 point margin (33-20) with 27-seconds left before halftime after back to back three-pointers from Dixon and Pelletier. Dixon had five points in all during that stretch, while Ewing chipped in four.

Stonehill settled for an 11 point (33-22) halftime lead and after Saint Anselm junior Meg Morrissey (South Kingstown, R.I./South Kingstown) opened the second half scoring, the Skyhawks were able to pad their lead even further. A 13-2 Skyhawks spurt pushed the lead to 20 (46-26) after a Pelletier three with 13:38 remaining. Sophomore Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) also canned a three during that stretch for Stonehill.

Stonehill's lead peaked at 22 (50-28) on a Ewing jumper with 11:58 to play, but Saint Anselm had one last run left in it. The Hawks scored the next 14 points to draw back within eight (50-42) with 6:30 remaining after four straight points from Leighton. The Skyhawks held and regained a 12 point lead (57-45) on a Faieta basket with three minutes left and despite not scoring the rest of the way, didn't let Saint Anselm back within ten and clinched the victory.

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