Women's Basketball Opens 2015-16 at Assumption Tip-Off

Senior Paige Marshall is a three-year starter for the Skyhawks and one of the top defensive players in the NE-10. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Skyhawks first three games will be at Laska Gym starting Friday against Goldey-Beacom at 5:30 p.m.

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EASTON, Mass. (November 12, 2015) – The Stonehill College women's basketball team, among teams receiving votes in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II preseason poll, opens its 2015-16 season when it participates in the Assumption College Tip-Off Classic at Andrew Laska Gymnasium in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14.

Stonehill opens its season against Goldey-Beacom College on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m., with Assumption hosting Dominican (N.Y.) College at 7:30 p.m. The Skyhawks will face Dominican on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., with Assumption and Goldey-Beacom capping the weekend at 6:30 p.m. In an interesting twist to the Stonehill schedule, its first three games will also be played at Laska Gym as the Skyhawks open their NE-10 schedule at Assumption on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m.

Admission to this weekend's games is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and senior citizens. Both games will be webcast via assumptiongreyhounds.tv, with links to the webcasts and live stats also available via stonehillskyhawks.com.

Junior Kelly Martin is the Skyhawks top returning scorer after earning third team All-Northeast-10 honors last spring. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Stonehill, under the direction of head coach Trisha Brown in her 15th season, are the preseason favorites in both the Northeast-10 Conference's Northeast Region poll and the D2SIDA East Region preseason poll. The Skyhawks collected 95 points and eight first place votes in the NE-10 preseason poll to edge Franklin Pierce University (94 points), which received six first place votes, for the top spot. Assumption (74) is picked third in the division, with Bentley University (72), collecting the remaining first place, fourth. Stonehill also holds the top spot in the D2SIDA East Region preseason poll by just a point over NE-10 Southwest Division favorites Adelphi University. The Skyhawks (55 points) and Panthers (54) split the six first place votes, with Queens (N.Y.) College (48) ranked third, Franklin Pierce (47) fourth and Holy Family University and Assumption (20) rounding out the top five.

Stonehill returns nine letterwinners, including two starters, with three seniors from its 2014-15 campaign in which it reached the NCAA Division II East Regional championship game before being edged by the University of New Haven, 58-57, in the final seconds. Junior guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate), a third team All-Northeast-10 selection last season, headlines the returnees for the Skyhawks after a breakout sophomore year in which she averaged 13.7 points on 43.5-percent shooting, including 36.1% (26-for-72) from three-point range, while converting 80% (132-165) of her free-throws, to go with 4.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Senior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) is a three-year starter and defensive standout for Stonehill, having averaged 10.1 points on 44.3-percent shooting from the floor and 79.5% (62-78) at the line to go with 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and a steal per game. Classmate Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial), who started 13 games for the Skyhawks as a sophomore, added 6.5 points on 51.6% shooting, with 3.4 rebounds per game in 17 minutes per game off the bench in 20 games played as a junior.

Sophomore Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy), the NE-10 Rookie of the Year last season, chipped in 6.3 points on 46.9% shooting with five rebounds per game as a freshman, while classmate Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) will also see increased minutes this season.

Stonehill's home opener on Paula Sullivan Court will be next Saturday, November 21, as it hosts Saint Anselm College for a Northeast-10 matchup at Merkert Gymnasium at 1:30 p.m.

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