Second Half Surge Sends Stonehill Past Saint Michael’s, 85-61

Senior Mary Louise Dixon led the Skyhawks with 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Dixon leads Skyhawks to fifth-straight win with 21 points, eight rebounds 

EASTON, Mass. (February 8, 2014) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II poll, used 59.4-percent shooting in the second half to break open a three point halftime lead on its way to an 85-61 triumph over Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action as part of Play4Kay Week on Alumni Day at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior guard Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) guided Stonehill to its fifth straight win and eighth victory over its last nine with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, while converting 6-of-7 free-throws to go with eight rebounds (four offensive), five assists and two steals. Junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) added 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-2 from beyond the arc, draining all four free-throw attempts to go with seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

Sophomores Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) and Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) both contributed 11 points for Stonehill with Marshall adding three rebounds and three assists, while shooting 3-for-5 from the field, including 2-for-3 from deep. Brown made all five of her shots from the field and added two assists and two steals.

Junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill) led all scorers with a game-high 24 points (18 first half) for Saint Michael's as she made 11-of-22 shots from the field, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, with nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. Senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) notched a double-double with ten points and a game-high ten rebounds with two blocked shots. Sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) chipped in nine points, aided by 5-of-5 shooting at the line, with six rebounds and four assists.

Junior Tori Faieta added 15 points, seven boards and three blocks in the win. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Stonehill finished shooting 46.8-percent (29-for-62) from the field, including 59.4% (19-32) in the second half, as the Skyhawks made 9-of-28 (32.1%) three-pointers and converted 18-of-25 (72%) free-throws. Stonehill turned the ball over just seven times, compared to 21 for Saint Michael's, and held a 22-13 advantage in points off turnovers. The Purple Knights were held to 37.5% (21-56) shooting, including 29.6% (8-27) in the second half, while connecting on 5-of-18 (27.8%) threes and 14-of-17 (82.4%) free-throws. SMC held a 42-30 rebounding edge, but was outscored 8-7 on second chance points by Stonehill.

Stonehill led by three (34-31) at halftime and Saint Michael's knotted the score with a three-pointer from sophomore Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) after the Skyhawks opened the half with a missed basket. The Skyhawks took off from there, holding the Purple Knights to just one basket over the next eight minutes and scoring 16 straight points as part of a 27-2 run to open a 25 point lead (61-36) after Marshall made one of two at the line with 11:07 remaining. Brown scored the first seven points of the stretch, including a three-point play.

Stonehill pushed the lead to 29 (70-41) with 9:30 left after back to back baskets from senior Abbey Lalime (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) and a three by junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) . The Skyhawks saw the game out from there, not letting Saint Michael's back within 23 the rest of the way.

Stonehill came out of a hard fought first half with a three point lead (34-31) after trailing by as much as seven (17-10) after a layup by Saint Michael's freshman Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) with 12:50 remaining in the frame. The Skyhawks were still down six (25-19) after a Sabine layup with 7:37 on the clock before a 13-2 run produced a five point lead (32-27) after a Dixon triple with 2:23 to play. Faieta scored the first eight points of the Stonehill run to give the hosts a two point lead (27-25) with 4:32 remaining.

Stonehill (15-5, 12-4 NE-10) heads back out on the road where it will visit Assumption College on Tuesday for a key NE-10 clash at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, February 19, to host Franklin Pierce University at 5:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (3-17, 2-14 NE-10) hosts Saint Anselm College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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Highlights and Postgame Interviews