Sophomore Kelly Martin posted 18 points, three rebounds and three assists this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Mason and Ferrentino combine for 43 points with double-double efforts as Yellow Jackets advance to semifinal round
EASTON, Mass. (March 1, 2015) – Southwest Division No. 4-seed American International College held Northeast Division Champions Stonehill College, ranked 12th in both the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and the D2SIDA Top 25 media poll, to 29-percent shooting after halftime to claim a 73-64 overtime triumph in quarterfinal round action of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball tournament on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.
American International (17-13, 10-10 NE-10) advances to Thursday's semifinal round where it will visit Southwest No. 2-seed University of New Haven (23-4, 16-4 NE-10) at 7 p.m. The Chargers advanced with a 72-48 victory over Northeast No. 3 Assumption College in today's quarterfinal round. Stonehill (22-4, 17-3 NE-10), which has been eliminated in its first game of the NE-10 Tournament four of the last five years, now awaits word on what should be a certain at large NCAA Tournament bid when the NCAA Division II field of 64 is announced next Sunday night. The Skyhawks were ranked No. 2 in this week's NCAA II East Regional rankings.
Senior Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow, Massachusetts/East Longmeadow) and junior Kamika Mason (Long Beach, California/Wilson) each posted double-doubles and combined for 43 points to lead American International to the upset victory. Mason registered game-highs of 22 points and 12 rebounds (five offensive) to go with three blocked shots and two steals as she made 9-of-19 shots from the field and converted 4-of-5 free-throw attempts. Ferrentino added 21 points and 11 boards (six offensive) with three assists and two steals, shooting 10-for-23 from the floor.
Junior Brianna Bishop (Suffield, Connecticut/Suffield) contributed 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, while converting 3-of-4 free-throws to go with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Senior Alyssa Roach (New Bedford, Massachusetts/New Bedford) rounded out the Yellow Jackets double-figure scorers with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting, draining 5-of-6 free-throws, with two assists and a steal.
Senior Tori Faieta posted her 30th career double-double today. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) posted her 14th double-double of the season (30th career) for Stonehill, finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds to go with two blocked shots. She was 6-for-16 from the field, but converted all six free-throws. Sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) also netted 18 points, aided by 10-of-12 shooting from the line, with three rebounds and three assists. Junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) added 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting with four assists and three boards, while freshman Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy), the NE-10 Rookie of the Year, chipped in eight points on 4-of-8 shooting and seven rebounds (four offensive) off the bench.
American International shot 41.2-percent (28-for-68) from the field in the contest, including a key 4-for-5 in overtime, while limiting Stonehill to 35.1-percent (20-for-57), including just 8-for-28 (28.6%) after halftime and 2-for-9 (22.2%) in overtime. The Yellow Jackets took advantage of 20 Skyhawks turnovers for a 19-11 edge in points off turnovers. Stonehill was just 2-for-15 (13.3%) from three-point range and converted 22-of-26 (84.6%) free-throws, compared to 15-for-20 (75%) free-throw shooting by the visitors.
Stonehill led just once after halftime after the two teams went into the lockerroom knotted at 32-32 when senior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) drilled her lone basket of the night from three-point distance for a one point advantage (47-46) with 11 minutes to play. AIC called a timeout and followed with six straight points to take a five point lead (51-46) after a Roach jumper with nine minutes remaining.
Stonehill still trailed by four (56-52) after a Mason layup with 3:27 on the clock before rallying to force overtime. Faieta made two free-throws to cut the gap to a pair (56-54) with 1:42 left and then after an AIC turnover she pulled the Skyhawks even (56-56) with two more at the line with 59-seconds to play. Ferrentino missed a layup on a drive at the other end, but the Yellow Jackets gathered the offensive rebound for one more chance after taking a timeout. This time Bishop missed a jumper with eight seconds to go to finally send the game to overtime.
AIC took charge in the overtime session, opening a six point lead (64-58) after a Roach layup with two minutes remaining while Stonehill missed its first five shots from the floor. Faieta broke the drought with a layup to cut the deficit to four (64-60) with 1:37 on the clock, but that would be the Skyhawks last basket until another Faieta layup after the game was decided in the closing seconds. The Yellow Jackets converted 7-of-8 free-throws over the final half-minute to seal the victory.
Stonehill's largest lead of the contest came with a pair of five point cushions in the first half. The first came at the end of a 10-2 run after a Marshall triple seven minutes into the game. The second was following a Marshall jumper with 8:24 remaining in the half (23-18). The Skyhawks led by three (31-28) on a pair of Martin free-throws with four minutes to go in the half, but AIC scored four straight to take the lead (32-31) with a Mason layup with 1:14 on the clock before the teams went to halftime deadlocked.