Women's Basketball Grabs Last Second Win at #23/25 Saint Anselm, 60-59

Walsh scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the first quarter to stake the Skyhawks to an early lead. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Walsh nets 19 points, Diabate posts double-double as Shaw nets winning basket

MANCHESTER, N.H. (November 27, 2016) – Stonehill College erased a five point deficit after three quarters of play, after trailing by as much as eight, to claim a 60-59 triumph over Saint Anselm College, ranked No. 23 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 media poll and No. 25 in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium this afternoon.

Freshman guard Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) scored a put back on her own miss with 6.7-seconds to play and Stonehill held on defense at the other end to cap the comeback win. Junior Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) led the Skyhawks with a game-high matching 19 points, including 12 in the first quarter on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range, as she finished shooting 5-for-9 from beyond the arc to go with two rebounds, an assist and steal.

Sophomore Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) posted her first career double-double with season-high totals of 14 points and a career-best 11 rebounds (five offensive), four steals, two blocked shots and two assists for Stonehill, while junior Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Shaw finished with the two points, four rebounds (all offensive) and an assist off the bench.

Senior Candace Andrews (Boston, Massachusetts/Worcester Academy) led Saint Anselm with 19 points on 9-of-21 shooting, six assists, five steals and two rebounds. Senior Caitlyn Abela (North Easton, Massachusetts/Oliver Ames) was the only other Hawks player in double-figures for scoring with 14 points and six boards (five offensive), while classmate Kaila Duarte (Dorchester, Massachusetts/Beaver Country Day) pulled down 11 rebounds. Freshman Sara Messler (Durham, New Hampshire/Oyster River) chipped in with eight points, eight boards and three assists.

Stonehill finished shooting 36.5-percent from the field (23-for-63), including 5-for-15 (33.3%) from three-point distance, converting 9-of-11 (81.8%) free-throws while holding a 39-37 rebounding edge and outscoring Saint Anselm 18-11 in second chance points. The Hawks shot 40.3-percent from the floor (25-for-62), including 2-for-9 (22.2%) from deep, converting 7-of-10 (70%) free-throws.

Diabate posted her first career double-double with a season-high 14 points and career-high 11 rebounds. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Stonehill led by 11 in the opening quarter (23-12) after a Diabate basket with 24-seconds remaining, keyed by 12 first quarter points from Walsh. The Skyhawks lead was still 11 (27-16) after a Diabate layup 1:39 into the second quarter, when Saint Anselm closed the half with a 16-2 run to carry a three point lead (32-29) into halftime. Andrews had seven points during the run, including back to back layups off her own steals to close out the first half.

Saint Anselm extended the run to 25-6 to take an eight point advantage (41-33) on a three-pointer by junior Clairee Putnam (Windham, New Hampshire/Windham) three and a half minutes into the third quarter. Stonehill chipped away and cut the gap to two (43-41) with a jumper by sophomore Nicole Rojas (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) with 1:41 remaining in the third, before Abela capped the frame with a triple to restore a five point Hawks lead at the break.

Saint Anselm's lead was four (47-43) after Duarte made one of two at the line with 7:44 to play, when Stonehill scored five straight on a Walsh three and Diabate layup to take its first lead since the second quarter with 6:23 remaining. Two straight Andrews layups put the Hawks back up three (53-50) midway through the fourth quarter, where the lead held until the Skyhawks scored six straight for a three-point lead of their own after a Hyslip basket with 1:57 to go.

Messler gave Saint Anselm the lead again (59-58) with a jumper with 44-seconds left. Both teams turned the ball over on their next possessions and after a timeout with 16-seconds remaining, Shaw collected her own rebound off a missed baseline jumper on the left side and scored the put back for what proved to be the winning basket with 6.7-second to go. Saint Anselm called a timeout to advance the ball to the frontcourt, but Rojas collected the rebound off Andrews' missed jumper in the final seconds to clinch the Skyhawks first win over a ranked opponent since a 55-44 victory over 18th-ranked American International College last January.

Stonehill (3-3, 2-1 NE-10) returns to action on Wednesday when it visits Franklin Pierce University for an NE-10 matchup at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks don't return home until the following Wednesday, December 7, to host Southern New Hampshire University at Merkert Gym at 5:30 p.m. Saint Anselm (3-2, 1-2 NE-10) hosts top-ranked Bentley University on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

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