Late First Half Run Enough as #12/15 Stonehill Tops Saint Michael’s, 63-56

Senior Tori Faieta posted her tenth double-double of the year to lead the Skyhawks to a fourth straight win. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Faieta posts tenth double-double of the year to lead Skyhawks to fourth straight win

COLCHESTER, Vt. (February 7, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 12 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 and No. 15 in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II polls, outscored Saint Michael's 24-7 over the final 12 minutes of the first half to key its 63-56 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Ross Sports Center this afternoon.

Senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) led three Stonehill players in double figures with her tenth double-double of the year (27th career) as she posted 15 points and a game-high ten rebounds to go with three blocked shots and two steals, connecting on 7-of-12 shots from the field and her lone free-throw attempt. Sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) paced the Skyhawks scorers with 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting, converting all eight free-throw attempts, with four rebounds (three offensive) and two assists. Freshman Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) contributed 13 points in 18 minutes off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 at the line with four rebounds and an assist. Junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) chipped in with seven points, six assists and three steals.

Senior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill) led Saint Michael's with a game-high 21 points (15 second half) on 8-of-17 shooting, converting all five free-throw attempts, to go with nine rebounds. Junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, New York/Coleman Catholic) was the only other Purple Knights player in double-figures with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals, making 4-of-9 shots from the field and 5-of-6 free-throws.

Sophomore Kelly Martin paced the Skyhawks with 16 points. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Stonehill finished shooting 43.1-percent (22-for-51) from the field, including 50% (14-28) in the first half to build a 16 point halftime lead, converting 16-of-17 (94.1%) free-throws. Saint Michael's shot 39.6-percent (21-for-53), including 50% (14-28) in the second half, but was unable to climb out of its first half hole after shooting just 28% (7-25) in the opening frame. Sabine and Burud were a combined 12-for-26 (46.2%) from the floor, but the remainder of the Purple Knights team shot just 9-for-27 (33.3%) for the afternoon.

Stonehill used a 15-1 run over a five minute span midway through the first half to turn a one point deficit (14-13) into a 13 point lead (28-15) after a jumper by Hyslip with 7:37 remaining in the first half. Hyslip and Martin both scored four points during that stretch, while senior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) drained a three-pointer to push the Skyhawks lead into double figures for the first time.

Saint Michael's drew back within nine (28-19) with two Burud free-throws with 4:59 to play in the half, but Stonehill followed with nine straight points, including four from Faieta, to open a game-high 18 point lead (37-19) after a triple by senior Ashley Gendron (Auburn, New Hampshire/Manchester Memorial) with two minutes remaining.

Stonehill carried a 16 point (37-21) lead into the intermission and then maintained a double-digit lead throughout the majority of the second half, holding a 15 point advantage (56-41) after a Hyslip layup with 7:25 remaining. Saint Michael's came alive with nine straight points to pull within six (56-50) after a layup by sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Massachusetts/Somerville) with 2:52 still to play. Hyslip answered with a layup at the other end, but the Purple Knights drew within four (58-54) after two free-throws by Sabine with 62-seconds left. The Skyhawks were able to close the game out from there by converting 5-of-6 free-throws, including 3-of-4 from Hyslip, over the final 38-seconds.

Stonehill (18-2, 14-2 NE-10), ranked second in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, is back in action on Tuesday when it returns home to host Assumption College at 5:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (9-12, 4-12 NE-10) travels to Saint Anselm College on Wednesday for an NE-10 matchup at 5:30 p.m.

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