#7/9 Stonehill Steady in Win at American International, 69-44

Sophomore Kelly Martin matched her career-high with 23 points, netting 15 in the first half. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)

Martin nets career-high matching 23 points to lead Skyhawks to seventh straight win 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 13, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 7 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 and No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II polls, held American International College to 23-percent shooting in posting a 69-44 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Butova Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) scored 15 of her game-best and career-high matching 23 points in the first half as she finished shooting 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, connecting on 6-of-8 shots from the floor in the first half (3-for-3 from beyond the arc). She also chipped in with four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) posted her sixth double-double of the season (22nd career) with ten points and a game-high 14 rebounds with five blocked shots and two assists. Freshman Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) also chipped in ten points and three boards, while senior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) registered seven points and five assists.

Junior Kamika Mason (Long Beach, California/Wilson) led American International with 11 points, aided by 7-for-7 shooting from the free-throw line, with seven rebounds, a blocked shot and two steals. Classmate Brianna Bishop (Suffield, Connecticut/Suffield) added ten points, shooting 4-for-4 at the line, with two steals and a block, while senior Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow, Massachusetts/East Longmeadow) chipped in nine points and seven boards.

Stonehill's defensive effort limited American International to 23-percent shooting from the field (14-for-61), including 5-for-31 (16.1%) in the second half, converting 16-of-18 free-throws (88.9%). The Skyhawks finished shooting 46.4% (26-for-56) from the floor, including 48.1% (13-27) in the second half to seal the win, connecting on 8-of-23 (34.8%) three-pointers, and converting 9-of-10 (90%) free-throws. Stonehill held a 42-26 rebounding advantage for the night and Walsh led a Skyhawks bench that outscored the AIC reserves 21-5.

Senior Tori Faieta posted her sixth double-double of the season tonight. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill came out of a tightly contested first half with a nine point lead (31-22) after junior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) scored a follow up at the buzzer. The Skyhawks started to break away with an 8-2 spurt late in the frame that turned a one point lead (16-15) with 6:43 on the clock into their first nine point cushion (26-17) following a layup by senior Ashley Gendron (Auburn, New Hampshire/Manchester Memorial) with 2:50 remaining in the half. Martin scored ten of Stonehill's first 12 points in the contest and 15 of 21 overall to open the game.

Bishop closed AIC back within six (33-27) with a layup a minute into the second half and then Stonehill scored the next seven points to open a 13 point lead (40-27) with a jumper from freshman Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) three and a half minutes in. The Skyhawks stretched their lead to 20 points (52-32) with 11:25 on the clock after eight straight points, the last four coming from junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree).

Stonehill extended the advantage to 22 (56-34) with 8:46 to play after a Martin three-pointer before hitting one of two at the free-throw line. American International didn't get closer than 16 points the rest of the way before Stonehill's largest lead of the night was the final 25-point margin.

Stonehill (12-1, 9-1 NE-10), ranked first in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, is back in action on Saturday when it visits Bloomfield College for a non-conference matchup at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Wednesday, January 21, to host Southern Connecticut State University at 5:30 p.m. American International (8-9, 3-6 NE-10) visits Bentley University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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