Dixon Leads #14 Stonehill Past Southern N.H., 71-62

Senior Mary Louise Dixon led the Skyhawks with 21 points, nine assists, six rebounds and six steals. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Dixon fills box score with 21 points, six rebounds, nine assists and six steals 

EASTON, Mass. (December 7, 2013) – Stonehill College, ranked 14th in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II coaches' poll, closed out its first semester home schedule with a hard-fought 71-62 victory over Southern New Hampshire University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior co-captain Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) fired Stonehill to its third straight win with a game-high matching 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including 4-for-8 from three-point range, to go with nine assists, six rebounds and a career-high matching six steals. Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) was the only other Skyhawk in double-figures with 18 points (16 second half) on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-7 from three-point range.

Sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) contributed nine points and five rebounds (four offensive), while junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) posted eight points, four boards and three blocked shots. Freshman Kelly Martin (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) chipped in with seven points, aided by 5-of-8 shooting at the line, with four rebounds and two assists off the bench.

Sophomore Amra Elezovic (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Memorial) was the lone Southern New Hampshire player in double-figures, matching Dixon with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 2-4 for beyond the arc, converting her lone free-throw attempt to go with three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Sophomore Erin Doherty (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) added eight points on 4-of-6 shooting with a game-high nine rebounds, while junior Kaylea Griffin (Green Springs, Ohio/Clyde) chipped in eight points.

Stonehill finished shooting 45-percent (27-for-60) from the field after hitting at 53.6% (15-28) in the second half. The Skyhawks were 8-for-22 (36.4%) from beyond the arc overall and converted just 9-of-16 (56.3%) free-throw attempts. Stonehill held a 35-30 rebounding edge, including 13 offensive rebounds, but was outscored 8-2 on second chance points and held an 18-13 advantage for points off turnovers.

Junior Amy Pelletier scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half to help the Skyhawks clinch victory. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Southern New Hampshire shot 47.3-percent (26-for-55) from the field, including 50% (13-26) in the first half compared to 37.5% (12-32) for Stonehill but still trailed by five (33-28) at the break. The Penmen connected on 3-of-7 (42.9%) three-pointers and converted 7-of-9 (77.8%) free-throws.

Stonehill jumped out to a seven point lead (11-4) after a three-pointer by Dixon just over five minutes into the game. Southern New Hampshire bounced right back with a 10-2 run to take the lead (14-13) on a Griffin layup with 11 minutes to go. The teams traded the lead back and forth until the Skyhawks reeled off a 14-1 run to open a 12 point lead (33-21) after Martin made one of two at the line with 2:23 remaining in the half. The run ended with a string of five straight points at the free-throw line as Stonehill went without a field goal for the final 4:21 of the half.

Southern New Hampshire finally took advantage of the Stonehill drought and closed back within five (33-28) at the break, capped by a jumper from junior Brooke Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant). The Penmen drew within four (35-31) in the opening minute of the second half by way of a three-point play from Springfield.

Stonehill responded with a 13-2 run over the next three minutes to open a 15 point cushion (48-33) with 16:11 remaining following back to back three-pointers from Dixon and Marshall. SNHU pulled back within eight (52-44) on a Griffin layup with 11:47 on the clock, but Pelletier broke a four minute scoring drought for the Skyhawks with a three to push the lead back into double-figures (55-44) with 10:33 to play.

Southern New Hampshire crept back within six (62-56) after a three-pointer from freshman Sara Ryan (Quincy, Mass./Archbishop Williams) with 4:37 still to play. Stonehill dug deep and got two straight baskets by Dixon to regain its double-figure lead (66-56) with 3:15 to go. The Skyhawks were able to keep the Penmen at bay from there and seal their sixth win over the last seven.  

Stonehill (7-2, 4-1 NE-10) closes out its first semester schedule on Tuesday night at Saint Anselm College at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks don't return home for over a month when it hosts Pace University at Merkert Gym on Saturday, January 11, at 1:30 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (5-3, 3-2 NE-10) visits Assumption College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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Trisha Brown postgame interview