Stonehill Handles Pace Down the Stretch, 76-68

Junior Tori Faieta posted her second-straight 20 point game to lead the Skyhawks to victory. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Faieta posts second-straight 20 point effort to lead Skyhawks to victory

EASTON, Mass. (January 11, 2014) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II poll, pulled away in the second half to claim a 76-68 victory over Pace University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Junior forward Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) led the way for Stonehill with her second-straight 20-plus point effort as she finished with a game-high matching 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field to go with eight rebounds, an assist and blocked shot. Classmate Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) scored 11 of her 18 points in the first half as she connected on 6-of-11 shots, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, while converting both free-throw attempts. Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) contributed 14 points, aided by 6-of-7 shooting from the free-throw line, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. Sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) chipped in 11 points, converting 9-of-10 free-throws, with four assists, three boards, a blocked shot and steal.

Stonehill finished shooting 43.3-percent (26-for-60) from the field, including 46.7% (14-30) in the first half, while converting 86.4% (19-22) of its free-throws. The Skyhawks held a 38-29 rebounding advantage, aiding in a 19-5 edge in second chance points. Pace finished shooting 43.9-percent (25-for-57) from the field, including 53.1% (17-32) in the first half to take a two point lead into halftime (40-38), but Stonehill was able to limit the Setters to 32% (8-25) in the second. Pace converted 12-of-14 (85.7%) free-throw attempts.

Junior Margo Hackett (Pawling, N.Y./Pawling) led Pace with a team-high 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field while making all six free-throw attempts to go with two rebounds. Sophomore Yuni Sher (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) notched a double-double with 11 points and a game-high ten rebounds to go with two assists, while freshman Shanice Allen (Riverhead, N.Y./Riverhead) chipped in 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, with a pair of assists.

Junior Amy Pelletier contributed 18 points, connecting on 4-of-6 three-pointers. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Trailing by two at halftime (40-38), Stonehill outscored Pace 22-5 over the first ten minutes of the second half to reclaim a double-figure lead and extend it to 15 (60-45) on a three-point play by sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial). The Skyhawks scored the first seven points of the half behind a pair of free-throws and a three-pointer by Pelletier. Stonehill stretched its lead to ten (55-45) with a layup from junior Ashley Gendron (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Memorial) with 13:42, while Faieta gave the Skyhawks a 12 point lead with a jumper with 11;25 remaining.

Stonehill's lead was 14 (70-56) after a Marshall layup with 5:37 to play when Pace made one last rush. The Setters drew within four (72-68) with a 12-2 run, capped by a Hackett layup with 1:24 on the clock. Stonehill held there, however, with Marshall and Dixon both draining a pair of free-throws over the last 43-seconds while the Setters missed their final three shots from the floor.

Stonehill scored the first seven points of the contest and led by as much as 11 (18-7) in the first half after a three-pointer by junior Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) with 13:05 remaining in the frame. The Skyhawks lead was still ten (21-11) following a Faieta jumper with 10:58 on the clock before Pace reeled off six straight points to close within four (21-17) on a three-point play by Sher.

Pelletier stemmed the tide initially with a three-pointer on Stonehill's next possession, but Pace took its first lead of the day (25-24) with a Sher bucket with 8:33 remaining in the half. Stonehill reclaimed a four point cushion (35-31) on a Faieta layup with 4:04 to go before Pace closed out the half with a 9-3 spurt to carry a two point lead (40-38) into halftime after a Hackett layup and then neither team scored over the final 1:19.

Stonehill (9-4, 6-3 NE-10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gym on Tuesday when it hosts American International College for an NE-10 clash at 5:30 p.m. Pace (2-12, 1-7 NE-10) travels to Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 5:30 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.

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