Stonehill Gets Past American International, 69-56

Sophomore Shannon Brown helped lead the Skyhawks with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists on the night. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Pelletier leads Skyhawks to third straight win with 17 points 

EASTON, Mass. (January 14, 2014) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II poll, secured its third straight win with a 69-56 decision over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Junior guard Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) led the way for Stonehill with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including 5-for-11 from three-point range. Sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) added 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and a 5-for-6 effort at the free-throw line with six rebounds, three assists and a steal. Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) contributed 13 points, five assists, four assists and two steals, while classmate Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) chipped in eight points and five boards.

Junior Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) led American International with 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting, with eight rebounds. Sophomore Kamika Mason (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson) was the only other Yellow Jacket in double-figures with 12 points, aided by 6-for-6 shooting at the line, eight boards, three blocked shots and two steals.

Junior Amy Pelletier scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 5-for-11 from three-point range. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Stonehill shot 38.6-percent (22-for-57) from the field, but was 8-for-19 (42.1%) from three-point range, and converted 17-of-20 (85%) free-throw attempts on the night. The Skyhawks posted a 12-5 advantage in points off turnovers, with American International turning the ball over 12 times to ten for the hosts. Stonehill also held a 38-36 edge and a 16-11 break in second chance points. The Yellow Jackets were limited to 36.2-percent (21-for-58) shooting, including 33.3% (10-30) in the second half, connecting on just 1-of-8 (12.5%) three-pointers while converting 13-of-15 (86.7%) free-throws.

Stonehill never trailed in the contest, with just one tie coming early on at 8-8 after a layup by sophomore Ebony Easter (San Antonio, Texas/Sandra Day O'Connor) 3:16 into the game. The Skyhawks scored the first four points of the night and then after the 8-8 deadlock jumped to a six point lead (18-12) on a Pelletier three-pointer six minutes into the game.

Stonehill's lead was a point (28-27) after a Ferrentino layup with 3:16 left in the half before the Skyhawks closed the half on a 9-2 spurt to carry an eight point lead into halftime (37-29) after an off-balance jumper by Dixon with two AIC players on her at the buzzer. Ewing sparked the run with a three-pointer as well.

Junior Alyssa Roach (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) opened the second half with a jumper for American International and then Stonehill followed with a Pelletier three-pointer and Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) jumper that pushed the lead into double-figures (42-31) 3:11 into the frame. The Yellow Jackets cut the gap to three (44-41) with a Mason layup with 13:08 remaining and were still within four (49-45) near the midway point of the half when Stonehill took over.

Stonehill reeled off a 16-2 run to open an 18 point (65-47) lead following two free-throws by freshman Kelly Martin (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) with 4:52 to play and the lead wouldn't dip below 13 the rest of the way. Pelletier drilled a pair of three-pointers and junior Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) added a triple of her own to spearhead the deciding run.

Stonehill (10-4, 7-3 NE-10) is off until next Wednesday, January 22, when it visits Southern Connecticut State University for an NE-10 matchup at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym on Saturday, January 25, for its Alumnae Game against the University of New Haven at 1:30 p.m. American International (10-5, 4-5 NE-10) hosts top-ranked Bentley University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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Highlights and Coach Brown Postgame Interview