NE-10 QUARTERFINAL: #2 Stonehill Advances Past #3 American International, 75-60

Senior Mary Louise Dixon was the catalyst for the Skyhawks win with a game-high 22 points this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Dixon steers Skyhawks to first NE-10 Tournament win in four years
Pelletier breaks single-season three-point record in victory

EASTON, Mass. (March 2, 2014) – Stonehill College, the Northeast Division No. 2 seed, shot 60-percent in the second half to break away and claim a 75-60 triumph over Southwest Division No. 3-seed American International College in quarterfinal round action of the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball tournament at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Stonehill (18-8, 14-7 NE-10), ranked third in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, advances to Thursday's semifinal round where it will face Southwest Division top-seed Adelphi University (21-6, 14-6 NE-10), ranked second in the East Region and among teams receiving votes in the USA TODAY Sports Division II poll, in Garden City, N.Y., at 7 p.m. The Panthers rallied for an 81-77 victory over Northeast No. 4 seed Franklin Pierce University in their quarterfinal today on Long Island. American International sees its season come to a close with a 17-10 record overall, including an 11-9 clip in the NE-10.

Stonehill, which won its first NE-10 Tournament game since a 55-53 semifinal round victory at Pace University in 2010 to snap a string of four straight defeats and three straight opening round exits, was led by its three All-Northeast-10 Conference selections. Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), a first team All-NE-10 pick for the second straight year, scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half as she finished shooting 6-for-12 from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, and converted 8-of-9 free-throws to go with six rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick), a third team All-Conference pick, scored 12 of her 17 points in the second half on 5-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, and draining all four free-throw attempts to go with two assists. Her three triples this afternoon give her 82 for the season, surpassing the 20-year old single-season school record of 81 set by Stonehill Hall of Famer Michelle Doonan, '95, during the 1993-94 season.

Junior Amy Pelletier's school-record 82nd three-pointer of the season helped seal the Skyhawks first NE-10 tournament win in four years and broke Michelle Doonan's, '95, 20-year old single-season record. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's), a first team All-NE-10 honoree, contributed her seventh double-double of the year (14th career) with 13 points (11 second half) and a game-high ten rebounds with four assists and four blocked shots. Sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with ten points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range, and three boards. Senior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) chipped in seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Junior Alyssa Roach (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) led American International with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, three rebounds and three assists. Classmate Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) added 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting with four rebounds, while sophomore Brianna Bishop (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) contributed ten points, five boards, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Sydney Tepley (Racine, Wis./St. Catherine's) pulled down a team-high eight rebounds for the Yellow Jackets.

Stonehill finished shooting 47.2-percent (25-for-52) from the field, including 60% (18-30) in the second half after hitting at just 30.4% (7-23) in the opening frame. The Skyhawks connected on 8-of-17 (47.1%) three-pointers, including 5-for-9 (55.6%) in the second half, and converted 17-of-18 (94.4%) free-throws, including 10-11 (90.9%) in the opening half to help secure a six point (27-21) halftime lead. Stonehill also held a 33-27 rebounding advantage and 17-12 edge in points off turnovers. American International shot 42.6% (23-54) from the floor, including 8-for-15 (53.3%) from long distance, connecting on 6-of-7 (85.7%) free-throws.

Stonehill trailed by six early on in the first half, but bounced back and used an 11-0 run to take its first lead and extend it to five (19-14) after a layup from Faieta with 4:30 left before halftime. The Skyhawks led by as much as eight (27-19) after a three-point play from Ewing with 46-left in the half before settling on the six point halftime advantage (27-21).

Faieta opened the second half with a three-pointer to push the Stonehill lead to nine (30-21) on the opening possession, but AIC used an 11-2 run to pull even (32-32) after a Roach three with 15:15 remaining. The game was still tied (39-39) with 12:57 to play and then leading by two (43-41) with 11:39 left, the Skyhawks broke the game open with a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 14 point lead (57-43) after a layup from sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) with 8:27 to go.

Marshall drilled a three to push the Stonehill lead to 15 (60-45) with 7:10 left and the Skyhawks wouldn't let the lead dip below double figures the rest of the way. Pelletier's record breaking triple with 4:11 on the clock extended the lead to a game-high 18 (67-49) and Stonehill salted the game away from there at the line.

American International scored the first basket of the contest with a Bishop three 3:10 into the contest and led by five (7-2) after a pair of free-throws from sophomore Kamika Mason (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson) after five minutes. Stonehill closed within a point (9-8) with a Dixon three with 12:38 left in the half, but the Yellow Jackets scored the next five points, capped by a Roach triple with 8:50 left in the half for a six point lead (14-8). The Skyhawks followed with their 11-0 to take the five point lead (19-14) with 4:30 to play in the half and wouldn't trail again.

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Highlights & Coach Brown Postgame Interview