#5/7 Stonehill Comeback Falls Short at #23 New Haven, 72-71

Senior Tori Faieta posted her fourth straight double double with 20 points and a career-high matching 17 rebounds. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Faieta's fourth straight double-double leads Skyhawks

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (January 24, 2015) – The University of New Haven, ranked No. 23 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll, held off Stonehill College, ranked 5th in the D2SIDA poll and 7th in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, for a 72-71 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Charger Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Aquillin Hayes (Harlem, New York/Wings Academy) led New Haven to its second straight win and ninth in ten games with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting while converting 5-of-6 free-throws to go with eight rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Classmate Rykema Stone (Bronx, New York/Wings Academy) and junior Briana Bradford (Waterbury, Connecticut/Holy Cross) each added 14 points off the bench for the Chargers. Stone shot 6-for-9 from the floor and added six rebounds and three assists, while Bradford shot 5-for-10, including 2-for-6 from three-point range, while converting 2-of-3 free-throws.

Senior Tori Faieta's (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) fourth straight double-double marked her ninth of the year (25th career) as she posted 20 points and a career-high matching 17 rebounds with two assists and she shot 7-of-14 from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point range, while converting 5-of-6 free-throws. Sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) also netted 20 points for the Skyhawks, aided by 8-for-10 shooting at the line, with three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Senior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) rounded out the Skyhawks double figure scorers with 13 points, netting 3-of-7 three-pointers to move within two triples of assistant coach Meg Methven's '10, career program record of 249 three-point field goals.

New Haven finished shooting 45.5-percent (30-for-66) from the field on the afternoon, including 48.3% (14-29) in the second half to hold off the visitors. The Chargers bench outscored the Stonehill reserves 34-9, keyed by the 28 combined points from Stone and Bradford. The Skyhawks shot 40.4-percent (23-for-57) from the floor overall, including 69.6% (16-23) in the second half to fuel their rally after connecting at just 20.6% (7-34) in the first half to trail by 11 (37-26) at the break. Stonehill also made 8-of-20 (40%) three-pointers, including 6-for-8 (75%) in the second half, and converted 17-of-22 (77.3%) free-throws.

Sophomore Kelly Martin also netted 20 points for the Skyhawks this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill rallied from a 17 point second half deficit, but wasn't able to get over the hump with five chances at a go ahead basket over the final three minutes as it turned the ball over three times and missed its last two shots from the field, including a jumper from junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) at the buzzer. New Haven didn't make a basket over the final 5:29 after a Hayes bucket gave the Chargers a ten point lead (71-61).

New Haven led by 11 (37-36) at halftime, but Stonehill quickly moved within five (39-34) after a three-pointer from Pelletier two and a half minutes into the second half. The Chargers used a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to open its game-high 17 point advantage (53-36) on a layup by senior Bria Moore (West Haven, Connecticut/Hill Regional Career) with 14:05 remaining.

Stonehill chipped away and cut the deficit to eight (58-50) after a Martin layup with 9:22 to go. New Haven got a basket from Bradford to restore the double-figure lead (60-50) with nine minutes left and then the teams traded baskets until Hayes jumper gave the hosts their final ten point cushion (71-61) with 5:29 to play. Faieta scored a layup and then Marshall buried a three-pointer to draw Stonehill within five (71-66) with 4:42 remaining.

Faieta cut the New Haven lead to three (71-68) with four minutes left. The teams traded free-throws and then Martin pulled Stonehill within a point (71-70) with a pair at the free-throw line with 3:11 left. However, the Skyhawks were unable to regain the lead and dropped just their second game of the season, cutting their nine game winning streak short.

Stonehill led by three (5-2) after a Pelletier jumper 2:17 into the contest. New Haven posted an 8-1 spurt over the next two minutes to take a four point lead (10-6) after a jumper from sophomore India Dotson (Akron, Ohio/Frederick (Md.)) 5:16 in. The Chargers extended the lead to seven (15-8) after a Moore layup with 11:53 left in the half and then, after a Pelletier three-pointer, stretched that to 11 (22-11) after a three-point play by Stone with 8:13 on the clock. New Haven led by as much as 14 (33-19) after a Hayes jumper with 3:46 left in the half before settling for an 11 point (37-26) halftime lead.

Stonehill (14-2, 10-2 NE-10), ranked first in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, is right back in action on Tuesday when it visits Le Moyne College for an NE-10 matchup at 5 p.m. The Skyhawks return home next Saturday, January 31, to host The College of Saint Rose as part of Alumni Weekend at the College at 1:30 p.m. New Haven (15-3, 9-3 NE-10) hosts Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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