#13 Stonehill Turns Back Saint Michael’s, 83-79

Sophomore Kelly Martin led the Skyhawks with 21 points, seven assists and three steals. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Martin leads Skyhawks with 21 points and seven assists 

EASTON, Mass. (January 3, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked 13th in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D2SIDA Division II Top 25 polls, returned to conference play and notched its fourth straight win after an 83-79 decision over Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led Stonehill with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, to go with seven assists, three rebounds and three steals. Seniors Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) and Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) each added 15 points for the Skyhawks. Faieta posted a game-high matching nine rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots, while Pelletier chipped in three assists, two boards and a steal.

Junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, New York/Coleman Catholic) led Saint Michael's with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, with a game-high matching nine rebounds (four offensive), four assists and two steals. Senior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill) added 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals, while sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Massachusetts/Somerville) contributed 12 points, five boards, two assists and two steals. Senior Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Connecticut/Bacon Academy) chipped in 12 points and five rebounds.

Stonehill edged Saint Michael's with 47.5-percent shooting (29-for-61) from the field, including 48.4% (15-31) in the first half when it connected on 7-of-16 (43.8%) three-pointers, while converting 14-of-18 (77.8%) free-throws. The Skyhawks outscored the visitors 24-13 in points off turnovers, forcing 19 St. Michael's miscues, compared to 14 for the hosts, and forced the tempo to the tune of a 20-2 edge in fast break points. The Purple Knights stayed close with 46.8-percent (29-for-62) shooting, including 10-for-21 (47.6%) from beyond the arc - 6-for-12 (50%) in the second half. Saint Michael's converted 11-of-15 (73.3%) free-throws and outscored Stonehill 13-2 in second chance points, posting a 38-30 rebounding advantage.

Senior Tori Faieta finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill carried a five point (42-37) lead into halftime after a first half that included five ties and ten lead changes. Neither team led by more than seven points in the game, with that coming by way of a 42-35 Skyhawks advantage after a three-pointer from senior Jamie Panton (Williston, Vermont/Essex) with 43-seconds to go in the opening frame.

Saint Michael's outscored Stonehill 10-4 over the first four and a half minutes of the second half to regain the lead (47-46) after a three-pointer from junior Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Connecticut/Pomfret School). The Skyhawks got back to back baskets from Martin and freshman Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) to reclaim a three point lead (50-47), but Gaudreau answered with another three to force the seventh tie of the afternoon (50-50) with 13:34 remaining.

Stonehill worked its lead back to six (60-54) on a three ball by freshman Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) with 10:39 to play. The Skyhawks wouldn't trail again, but Saint Michael's didn't go away, pulling within a possession five times before pulling even for the eighth time (74-74) after a Burud triple with 2:36 to go. Junior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) put the Skyhawks back in front with a pair of free-throws, but Frappier scored inside for the ninth and final deadlock of the contest (76-76) with 1:51 on the clock.

Pelletier pushed Stonehill in front for good with a three-pointer with 1:31 remaining and the Skyhawks lead was back to six (82-76) after a pair of Pelletier free-throws with 24-seconds to play. Evora drained a three to bring Saint Michael's back within a possession (82-79) with ten seconds to go, but Martin split two free-throws and then the Purple Knights would only get one shot off at the buzzer to seal the Skyhawks fourth straight win.

Stonehill (9-1, 6-1 NE-10), ranked second in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts No. 3/6 Adelphi University, ranked first in the region, for a big midseason NE-10 clash at 5:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (7-5, 2-5 NE-10) is off until next Saturday when it visits Le Moyne College at noon.

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