Sophomore Mary Louise Dixon matched her season-high with 23 points to lead the Skyhawks to a key win over Saint Michael's. (PHOTO BY Gil Talbot)
Skyhawks shoot over 60-percent from field and three-point range, led by Dixon's season-high matching 23 points
Sophomore guard Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) matched her season-high for the third time this season with a game-high 23 points (16 first half) as she made 7-of-8 shots from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, and converted all five free-throw attempts to go with four assists and two steals. She engineered a Stonehill offense that shot 60.4-percent (32-for-53) from the field, including 63.3% (19-30) in the first half in racing out to a 23 point (44-21) halftime lead and never looked back. The Skyhawks buried 9-of-14 (64.3%) three-pointers and converted 11-of-15 (73.3%) free-throw attempts.
Freshman Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) added 13 points in 18 minutes off the bench on 5-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, to go with two assists. Senior Priscilla Dodoo (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) contributed 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, while sophomore Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) finished with 11 points, seven boards and three assists in 19 minutes. Freshman Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to go with six points, four assists and a blocked shot.
Priscilla Dodoo celebrated her senior day with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)
Junior Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) and sophomore Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) combined for 30 points on 11-of-19 (57.9-percent) shooting from the field, but the rest of the team was just a combined 7-for-31 (22.5%) from the floor, as Saint Michael's was held to 36% (18-50) shooting overall. Long scored a team-best 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 2-for-4 from deep, while converting both free-throw attempts to go with a game-high nine rebounds and a blocked shot. Adach added 14 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field and converting all four free-throws, to go with six rebounds and three steals.
Stonehill made the most of 21 Saint Michael's turnovers to record a 24-7 advantage in points off turnovers. The Purple Knights out-rebounded the hosts 30-28 and made 15-of-18 (83.3%) free-throws on the day.
Prior to the game, Stonehill honored Dodoo and its three other seniors, Laura Discenza (Milford, Conn./Lauralton Hall), captain Cori O'Kane (Pocasset, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) and Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) for their contributions to the program over the last four years. Today's also tips off Play 4Kay Week in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for breast cancer awareness. The Skyhawks welcomed Liza Talusan, Director of Intercultural Affairs at the College, whose life has been impacted by breast cancer, as a guest coach for the day. Her pregame lockerroom speech "Put the ball in the basket," rang true on the day for the hosts. Fans can still make donations to the Kay Yow Fund through February 20 by visiting www.play4kay.org.
Stonehill never trailed, outscoring Saint Michael's 19-4 over the opening seven minutes to set the tone early, opening a 15 point cushion after back-to-back three-pointers from Dixon and Pelletier. Dixon had a pair of three's during an initial 13-2 run. The Skyhawks netted eight straight points, six from Dixon on a three and conventional three-point play, to push their lead to 21 (29-8) with 6:10 left in the half.
Stonehill led by as much as 24 (42-18) after a Dodoo layup with a minute left in the half, before settling for a 23-point (44-21) halftime cushion. The Skyhawks stretched the lead to 28 (56-28) on a three by O'Kane three and a half minutes into the second half, before the advantage grew to 30 (60-30) for the first time after a free-throw by Dodoo five minutes in.
Stonehill's lead never dipped below 27 points the rest of the way as the Skyhawks hit cruise control, leading by as much as 36 (84-48) down the stretch. The win was key as Stonehill and Saint Michael's both entered the game in a four way tie for the final two spots in the NE-10 tournament later this month with UMass Lowell and Saint Anselm. The Skyhawks now share a tie for ninth with UMass Lowell (who holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Stonehill) heading into the final three games of the regular season, holding the head-to-head advantage over two of the three teams within striking distance behind them in the standings.
Stonehill (12-11, 8-11 NE-10) returns to action on Tuesday when it visits Southern New Hampshire University for an NE-10 clash at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Tuesday, February 21, to close out the regular season against Saint Anselm College in Merkert Gym at 5:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (10-13, 7-12 NE-10) visits Merrimack College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
|Highlights and postgame interview with Trisha Brown