Defense Keys Women's Basketball Win Over Assumption, 56-48

Rojas scored a career-high 17 points and added four rebounds and three assists. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Rojas leads Skyhawks in NE-10 opener with career-high 17 points

EASTON, Mass. (November 16, 2016) – Stonehill College held Assumption College to just 19 points in the second half in posting a 56-48 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore guard Nicole Rojas (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) led Stonehill with a career-high 17 points, including 12 in the first half, on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, with four rebounds and three assists. Junior Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) neared a double-double with eight points and a season-high ten rebounds, while classmate Elizabeth Grip (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/Shrewsbury) contributed eight points, six boards and a blocked shot. The Skyhawks got a lift off the bench from freshman Gabrielle Reuter (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) with eight first half points on 4-of-6 shooting, adding five rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and a steal in 19 minutes – all season-bests.

Stonehill finished shooting 37.9-percent from the field (22-for-58), but held Assumption to 32.1% (18-56) shooting, including just 7-for-27 (25.9%) in the second half. The Skyhawks held a 39-38 rebounding edge, but outscored the Greyhounds 12-2 on second chance points, while adding a 13-6 advantage in points off turnovers.

Senior Jo Impellizeri (Seaford, New York/St. Anthony's) led Assumption with a double-double of 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, shooting 6-for-12 from the floor, with three assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Classmate Kelly Carey (Long Beach, New York/Holy Trinity) also netted 16 points for the Greyhounds on 5-of-13 shooting, including 4-for-10 from three-point distance, with four rebounds. Junior Kiera O'Donnell (Cheshire, Connecticut/Holy Cross) chipped in with nine boards.

Reuter totaled eight first half points, finishing with five boards, three assists and three blocks.

Stonehill took a one-point lead at halftime (30-29) after Rojas capped the frame with a layup at the buzzer. The Skyhawks scored seven of the first nine points of the third quarter to open a six-point advantage (37-31) on a three-pointer by junior Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) three and a half minutes in. Stonehill stretched the lead to seven (42-35) with a Grip jumper with 2:53 remaining in the third, before taking a five point cushion (42-37) into the final quarter.

Stonehill scored the first six points of the fourth to open a game-high 11 point lead (48-37) after a Rojas three two minutes in. Assumption followed with a 6-0 run of its own to draw back within five (48-43) after a Carey triple with 4:53 to play. Senior Morgan O'Brien (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading) pulled the Greyhounds back within a possession (51-48) on a three-pointer with 1:33 remaining, but would get no closer.

Assumption had a chance to tie after Stonehill missed on its next possession, but turned the ball over with 28-seconds left and the Skyhawks made 5-of-6 free-throws the rest of the way, including 3-for-4 by Grip, to seal the win.

Stonehill (2-0, 1-0 NE-10) returns to action on Friday night when it takes part in the Red Hawk Alumni Classic at Roberts Wesleyan College against the host Red Hawks at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks are back at Merkert Gym on Tuesday for an NE-10 matchup with Merrimack College at 5:30 p.m. Assumption (1-1, 0-1 NE-10) hosts Saint Michael's College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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