Stonehill Holds Off New Haven, 73-69

Senior Mary Louise Dixon guided the Skyhawks to victory with 23 points, five assists, three rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Dixon and Faieta lead Skyhawks to key NE-10 win 

EASTON, Mass. (January 25, 2014) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II poll, used a late 6-0 run to stop a late University of New Haven comeback effort for a 73-69 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) scored 14 of her team-high 23 points in the second half to help lead Stonehill to victory as she made 6-of-16 shots from the field, including 3-for-9 from three-point range, while converting all eight free-throw attempts to go with five assists, three rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) posted her fourth double-double of the season (11th career) with 17 points (11 first half) and ten rebounds with four blocks, two assists and a steal, while shooting 7-for-14 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) added 11 points for Stonehill, aided by a 4-for-4 effort at the line, and three rebounds (all offensive). Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with ten points, five rebounds and four assists.

Junior Aquillin Hayes (Harlem, N.Y./Wings Academy) led New Haven with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-21 shooting, while converting all nine free-throw attempts to go with nine rebounds, an assist, blocked shot and steal. Junior Bria Moore (West Haven, Conn./Hill Regional Career) scored ten of her 12 points in the first half as she finished shooting 5-of-9 from the field to go with four rebounds (all offensive) and a blocked shot. Postgrad Ayana Duncanson (Elmont, N.Y./Francis Lewis) chipped in eight points, a game-high 11 rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.

Junior Tori Faieta posted her 11th career double-double with 17 points and a team-high ten rebounds while adding four blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill College finished shooting 41-percent (25-for-61) from the field, including 48.4% (15-31) in the first half, connecting on 10-of-28 (35.7%) three-pointers for the afternoon. New Haven shot 36.4-percent (24-for-66) from the field, including 32.4% (11-34) in the second half after hitting at 40.6% (13-32) in the first, connecting on 20-of-24 (83.3%) free-throws for the game. The Chargers stayed in the game by posting a 47-35 rebounding advantage, which resulted in a 19-14 edge in second chance points off 21 offensive boards, while registering a 16-5 scoring margin in points off turnovers, despite both teams finishing with 13 turnovers for the game.

Stonehill led by as much as 17 early in the second half, but had to answer a late New Haven rally that forced just the third tie of the contest (65-65) with 1:44 remaining after a third-straight basket by Hayes. The Skyhawks, which didn't trail all game, wouldn't relinquish the lead here as Dixon snapped a two-minute scoring drought with a pair of free-throws with 1:28 to play. Stonehill scored the next six points in all to regain control with 34-seconds left as Dixon sandwiched four free-throws around a layup by senior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) that sealed the win.

Stonehill held a nine point halftime lead (40-31) after scoring the final eight points over the last 3:15 of the frame, behind a pair of three-pointers from Pelletier. The Skyhawks quickly pushed the lead to 17 (50-33) with a 10-2 run over the opening minute and a half of the second with Dixon, Faieta and Marshall all connecting from beyond the arc during that stretch.

Stonehill's lead swayed between 12 and 15 points over the next eight minutes before New Haven mounted its comeback. The Skyhawks lead was 15 (59-44) on a Dixon triple with 10:55 to play before the Chargers scored ten straight points to close within five (59-54) after a Hayes jumper with 6:41 remaining. She had six points in all during that stretch.

Marshall snapped a four minute scoreless drought with a jumper on Stonehill's next possession to steady the ship initially. The Skyhawks lead was six (65-59) after two Marshall free-throws with 3:40 to go when New Haven made another surge with six straight points to draw even (65-65) for the first time since a 29-29 deadlock with 4:01 left in the opening half. Stonehill held firm from there behind Dixon's 6-for-6 shooting at the line in the final minute and a half to clinch its fourth win over the last five games, bouncing back from a tough two-point road loss on Wednesday night.

Stonehill (11-5, 8-4 NE-10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gym on Tuesday night to host Le Moyne College at 5:30 p.m. New Haven (12-6, 7-5 NE-10) visits Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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