#11 Stonehill Pulls Away From Franklin Pierce, 85-75

Junior Amy Pelletier helped lead the Skyhawks with a career-high 24 points tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Dixon and Pelletier combine for 48 points to lead Skyhawks to bounce back win 

RINDGE, N.H. (November 26, 2013) – Stonehill College, ranked 11th in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II coaches' poll pulled away down the stretch to claim an 85-75 victory over Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at the Franklin Pierce Fieldhouse tonight.

Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) and junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) combined for 48 points as both led Stonehill with 24 point outings tonight. It marked a career-high for Pelletier who made 9-of-17 shots from the field, including 6-for-10 from three-point range, to go with three rebounds and three assists. Dixon, who scored 16 of her season-high point total in the second half, was 9-of-16 shooting overall, including 2-for-5 from beyond the arc, while converting 4-of-6 free-throws to go with four rebounds, six assists and a steal.

Sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) matched her career-high with a season-best 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 1-for-2 from long distance, converting 2-for-3 free-throws with six assists. Junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and a game-high eight rebounds.

Stonehill shot 56.7-percent (34-for-60) from the field, including 10-for-21 (47.6%) from beyond the arc, and finished with a 31-26 rebounding edge resulting in a 17-8 margin in second chance points. Franklin Pierce shot 51.8-percent (29-for-56) from the field, but just 6-for-17 (35.3%) from long distance, and made 11-of-12 (91.7%) free-throw attempts on the night.

Senior Mary Louise Dixon scored 16 of her season-high 24 points in the second half to lift the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Sophomore Kara Charette (Fairhaven, Mass./Fairhaven) led all scorers with 26 points for Franklin Pierce on 12-of-17 shooting from the field while converting both free-throw attempts to go with three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Senior Brittany Martelle (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) added 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, with three assists and two steals. Classmate Brooke Coderre (Woonsocket, R.I./Woonsocket) rounded out the Ravens double-figure scorers with 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three, and converting all six free-throws to go with four rebounds.

Stonehill used an 11-2 run to open a nine point lead after a three-point play from Marshall with 7:54 remaining after the game was deadlocked at 55-55 at the midway point of the second half. Marshall had five points and Dixon four during the breakout stretch. Franklin Pierce drew back within eight (68-60) on a layup by senior Caitlin Hopkins (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem East) with 6:26 remaining, but Dixon drilled a three-pointer to give the Skyhawks an 11 point lead (71-60) with 5:25 to play.

Marshall put Stonehill in front by 12 (76-64) with 3:15 remaining, but Franklin Pierce pulled back within eight (76-68) after a Charette layup with 2:40 on the clock. Stonehill wouldn't let the Ravens any closer by making its final three shots of the game, capped by a Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) three-pointer with 16 seconds left.

Neither team led by more than five points in a see-saw first half that featured four ties and five lead changes and finished knotted at 37-37 at the intermission. Pelletier led Stonehill with 13 points in the half on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-for-4 from long range. Martelle scored 13 points for Franklin Pierce on 5-of-6 shooting, 3-for-4 from deep. The first ten minutes of the second half were just as tight with each team holding four point leads before the Skyhawks pulled away down the stretch.

Stonehill (5-2, 2-1 NE-10) is off until after the holiday when it hosts Assumption College, among teams receiving votes in this week's Division II poll, at Merkert Gym next Wednesday, December 4, at 5:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (3-3, 2-1 NE-10) visits Assumption on Sunday at 1:30 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.