Assumption Hangs On Against Stonehill, 79-71

Senior Mary Louise Dixon posted her eighth career double-double and nearly had a second career triple-double with her 16 points, ten assists and eight rebounds. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Skyhawks comeback from early 21 point deficit stalls in the second half 

WORCESTER, Mass. (February 11, 2014) – Assumption College jumped out to a big lead early and turned away a second half rally by Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in the USA TODAY Sports Division II poll, to claim a 79-71 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Andrew Laska Gymnasium tonight.

Senior Shannon Ray (Yonkers, N.Y./Ursuline Academy) led Assumption with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting, while converting all four free-throw attempts, to go with nine rebounds and three steals. Junior Caitlin Ackerman (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, while sophomore Kelly Conley (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) contributed ten points, aided by 5-of-6 shooting at the line, with three rebounds and two assists. Senior Tafanie Roye (New Britain, Conn./Capital Prep Magnet) chipped in ten points, connecting on both three-point attempts and both free-throws, with two boards.

Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) flirted with her second career triple-double, finishing with 16 points and a game-high ten assists for her first double-double of the season (eighth career) to go with eight rebounds and two steals. She connected on 4-of-8 three-pointers and converted both free-throw attempts. Junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) added 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots, while sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) posted 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, burying both three-point attempts and two free-throw tries, to go with two rebounds and a block. Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) chipped in 11 points.

Sophomore Shannon Brown contributed 12 points, two rebounds and a blocked shot. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Assumption shot 42.4-percent (25-for-59) from the field, connecting on 9-of-14 (64.3%) three-pointers, including 7-for-9 (77.8%) in the first half. The Greyhounds also converted 20-of-24 (83.3%) free-throws and posted a 19-8 advantage in second chance points despite being at the short end of a 39-35 Stonehill rebounding advantage. Assumption outscored the Skyhawks 11-6 in points off turnovers and 23-13 in bench points. Stonehill shot 40.9-percent (27-for-66) from the field, including 44.4% (16-36) in the second half to get back in the game, and drained 11-of-29 (37.9%) three's, including 6-13 (46.2%) in the second half. The Skyhawks converted 6-of-8 (75%) free-throws.

Assumption never trailed in the contest and jumped out to a 12-2 lead after an Ackerman jumper two and a half minutes into the contest. She had four points in all during the opening stretch, while Roye drained a pair of threes. Stonehill was back within seven (14-7) after an Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) jumper after five and a half minutes, but the Greyhounds scored 14 straight points to open a game-high 21 point bulge (28-7) after an Ackerman jumper. Assumption drained all four three-point attempts, including two from freshman Morgan O'Brien (Reading, Mass./Reading).

Trailing by 19 (30-11) with 9:27 remaining in the opening half, Stonehill closed within eight (32-24) after a Brown three-pointer with 6:49 left. Brown had eight points in all during the 13-2 run. The Skyhawks closed within seven (37-30) after a basket from Faieta with 1:40 to go before the break, but Assumption carried a nine point lead (39-30) into halftime after Ray scored the final basket of the half.

Neither team scored over the opening 2:30 of the second half, but Stonehill cut the deficit to just two points (39-37) after a three-pointer from junior Jamie Panton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) with 14:43 to play. The teams traded baskets before Assumption regained a seven point cushion (49-42) with a three by freshman Allison Stoddard (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) midway through the final 20 minutes.

Stonehill drew back within a possession (53-50) with a triple from sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) with 8:11 to play. Assumption answered with a 10-2 spurt to reclaim an 11 point (63-52) advantage after a Ray layup with 4:17 on the clock. The Greyhounds stretched their lead back to 14 (68-54) after a three-point play from Ackerman and the hosts made 11 of their 12 free-throw attempts in the final minute to seal the win.

Stonehill (15-6, 12-5 NE-10) is back on the court on Saturday when it visits Southern New Hampshire University for an NE-10 matchup at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Wednesday, February 19, to host Franklin Pierce University at 5:30 p.m. Assumption (13-9, 9-8 NE-10) hosts Merrimack College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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