Southern Conn. State Holds Off Women's Basketball, 73-69

Pfohl fires Owls to 16-point third quarter lead before Skyhawks rally late

Reuter led the Skyhawks with 14 points, eight boards, five assists and three blocks (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (January 19, 2019) – Southern Connecticut State University built a 16-point lead in the third quarter and then held on down the stretch for a 73-69 triumph over Stonehill College, ranked No. 5 in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Amanda Pfohl led a Southern Connecticut State team that went six deep for the afternoon with a game-high 24 points, including 16 in the first half, on 9-of-14 shooting, including 5-for-7 from three-point distance, with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior Kiana Steinauer flirted with a triple double for the Owls, finishing with 16 points, and a school-record ten steals that led a defensive effort which forced 22 Stonehill turnovers that resulted in a 24-10 SCSU advantage in points off. She also collected eight rebounds for the contest.

Senior Allie Smith rounded out the Southern starters in double-figures with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, while junior Aaliyah Walker chipped in eight points, six boards, two assists and a steal.

Junior Gabrielle Reuter led Stonehill with 14 points, eight rebounds, a career-high five assists and three blocked shots, making 5-of-10 shots from the floor and converting 4-of-6 free-throws. Classmate Grace Carter netted a team-high 16 points, connecting on four three-pointers and draining all four free-throw attempts, while adding three rebounds and three assists. Freshman Kayla Raymond contributed 13 points and three boards, while classmate Emily Bramanti chipped in 11 points.

Stonehill held a one point lead (20-19) after a quarter of play, behind six points from Carter, who buried two three-pointers as the Skyhawks connected on 4-of-9 triples over the opening ten minutes. Southern outscored the Skyhawks 25-15 in the second frame, however, to take a nine-point lead (44-35) into halftime. Reuter scored the first basket of the second to push the Stonehill lead to three (22-19), and the hosts still led by a basket (24-22) after a Raymond layup two minutes in.

Carter scored a team-high 16 points for the Skyhawks with four three-pointers. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Southern started to grab control, using a 15-5 run over the next four and a half minutes to open an eight-point cushion (37-29) after Walker split a pair of free throws. Smith opened the run with a three-pointer to give the Owls the lead and then added a second from beyond the arc for a five-point lead (32-27) with 5:41 to go in the quarter. Stonehill answered with back to back threes by freshman Isabella Santoro and Carter to draw back within two (37-35) with three minutes to play in the half, but Southern scored the final seven points of the stanza to open the nine point halftime cushion.

After Raymond opened the third quarter scoring, Steinauer scored the next four to extend the Southern lead into double-figures for the first time (48-37) less than two minutes into the second half. The Owls stretched the lead to a game-high 16 points (59-43) with a Pfohl triple with 3:27 remaining in the third and then again, with a three by junior Imani Wheeler with 2:37 left in the frame.

Southern carried a 14-point lead (65-51) into the final quarter, but Stonehill outscored the visitors 18-8 in the fourth to get back into the game. The Skyhawks deficit was 13 (67-54) after Pfohl hit a jumper just over a minute into the fourth, before scoring nine-straight to close within four (67-63) after a fastbreak layup from Raymond with 3:47 still to play. Carter sparked the rally with a three-pointer, while Raymond finished with four points during that stretch.

Stonehill had a chance to pull within two, but Bramanti split her free throws with 1:32 to play that still had the Skyhawks back within a possession (69-66). The hosts would get no closer as Southern was able to do enough at the line to seal the win.

Stonehill (12-4, 7-3 NE10) hits the road for the next three games, starting Wednesday at Le Moyne College, ranked No. 4 in the region, at 5 p.m. The Skyhawks do not return home until Saturday, February 2, when they host Adelphi University for their Alumnae Game at 1:30 p.m. Southern Conn. State (11-7, 5-5 NE10) hosts Franklin Pierce University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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