NCAA TOURNAMENT: #13 Stonehill Puts Away Queens in Second Half, 80-66

Sophomore guard Kelly Martin scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half in her first career NCAA Tournament game. (PHOTO BY Angela Datre)

Martin and Brown lead Skyhawks into Saturday's regional semifinal

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (March 13, 2015) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked 13th in this week's USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, pulled away in the second half to reach the regional semifinals for the third straight year following an 80-66 victory over fourth-seeded and East Coast Conference champions Queens (N.Y.) College in quarterfinal round action of the 2015 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament's East Regional, hosted by Adelphi University, at the Center for Recreation and Sports tonight.       

Stonehill (23-4, 18-3 NE-10) advances to face 8th-seeded Holy Family University (21-10, 14-5 CACC) in tomorrow night's second regional semifinal here at Adelphi at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers stunned top-seeded and host Adelphi University (28-4, 18-2 NE-10), ranked 10th nationally, 84-79, in tonight's earlier game. Holy Family is now winners of seven-straight after spinning three upsets along the way to win the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference last weekend and with tonight's win. Queens sees its season come to a close after a second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history at 22-8 overall, including a 15-5 mark in the ECC.

Sophomore guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) had a memorable NCAA Tournament debut, after missing last year's regional due to injury, scoring 14 of her 17 points in the second half as Stonehill pulled away for the win. She shot 4-of-9 from the field and converted 9-of-11 free-throws to go with seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. Junior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) made all seven of her shots from the field, including three three-pointers, for a season-high 18 points in 25 minutes off the bench, adding six rebounds and two assists.

Senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) contributed 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a three-pointer, with a team-high nine rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. Classmate Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with ten points, connecting on 2-of-3 threes, and three assists, while junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) chipped in nine points, three boards (all offensive), four assists and a steal.

Junior Shannon Brown scored a season-high 18 points to lead all Skyhawk scorers. (PHOTO BY Angela Datre)

Stonehill shot 68.2-percent (15-for-22) in the second half to break open a nine point halftime lead to as much as a 19 point cushion in the second half. The Skyhawks shot 52.9-percent (27-for-51) from the floor overall, including 8-for-13 (61.5%) from three-point range, and converted 18-of-23 (78.3%) free-throws for the night. Stonehill limited the Knights to 38.4% shooting overall, including 30.6% (11-for-36) in the first half, converting 9-of-13 (69.2%) of their free-throws. The Skyhawks finished with a 38-37 rebounding edge, with Queens grabbing 19 offensive rebounds to stay in the game.

Sophomore Madison Rowland (Albany, New York/Shaker) led Queens with 21 points, ten rebounds, four assists and five steals, while sister, junior MacKenzie Rowland (Albany, New York/Shaker) chipped in 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Junior Kristen Korzevinski (New Hyde Park, New York/New Hyde Park) and sophomore Joya McFarland (Ronkonkoma, New York/Hauppauge) each added ten points for the Knights. Korzevinski was 5-for-6 from the floor and added three rebounds and four steals, while McFarland made 4-of-7 shots with two assists and two steals.

Stonehill led by as much ten points on multiple occasions in the first half before Queens made a late run to close the gap to a point after a layup from freshman Taylor Miller (Freeport, New York/Freeport) with 1:52 left in the half. Pelletier answered with a three-pointer and layup before Marshall added a triple to restore a nine point (37-28) cushion at the break.

Martin and Faieta scored two quick baskets to push Stonehill's lead to 13 (41-28) less than a minute into the second half. The Skyhawks run extended to 12-6 after a Martin layup for a 15 point lead (49-34) 4:13 into the half. Queens was within 11 (51-40) after a layup by Korzevinski with 12:55 remaining when Stonehill netted eight straight points to push the lead to a game-high 19 (59-40) for the first time after two Marshall free-throws with 11:13 left. Brown had five points during that run, including a three-point play.

Postgame Media Session

Queens closed within 13 (61-48) after a Korzevinski layup with 8:56 to go, but Stonehill responded again with an 8-2 spurt to regain its 19 point lead (69-50) on a Brown layup with 5:44 on the clock and didn't let the Knights within 12 points the rest of the way.

Stonehill scored eight straight points to stake out a seven point lead (10-3) after a Brown three-pointer less than five minutes into the contest. Queens pulled back within three (10-7) with two MacKenzie Rowland free-throws two minutes later, but the Skyhawks stretched the lead to eight (17-9) on a Brown layup with 10:57 to play in the half.

McFarland converted a three-point play to cut the Queens deficit to five (17-12), but Stonehill opened its first double-digit lead (25-15) when Pelletier drained a triple with 7:34 remaining.

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