Senior Paige Marshall made all five of her shots from three-point range, finishing with a team-high 17 points. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)
Marshall perfect from three as Skyhawks race to big first half leads
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (December 20, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked seventh in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, raced out to a 17 point first quarter lead and led by 29 at the half before posting a 76-58 victory over Midwestern State University in non-conference women's basketball action on day two of the 2015 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena tonight.
Senior guard Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) led hot-shooting Stonehill with 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range, while converting both free-throw attempts to go with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Freshman Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) added a season-high 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting off the bench, converting 6-of-7 free-throws with five rebounds off the bench. Junior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) was the only double-figure scorer as every Skyhawk who played saw at least ten minutes of action, notching 12 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Freshman Kendriana Washington (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Washington) led Midwestern State with a season and game-high 20 points as she made 9-of-11 shots from the field with eight rebounds. Junior Jacquar Westbrooks (Miami, Florida/Gulliver Prep) added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting off the bench for the Mustangs with two rebounds and three steals.
Stonehill finished shooting 51.9-percent from the field (27-for-52), including 56.3% (18-32) in the first half when they Skyhawks buried 7-of-9 (77.8%) three-pointers to build a halftime lead it would not relinquish. Stonehill finished the game 8-for-14 (57.1%) from beyond the arc and made 14-of-17 (82.4%) free-throws for the afternoon. Midwestern State shot 38.3-percent from the floor (23-for-60), including just 6-for-27 (22.2%) in the first half, going 2-for-16 (12.5%) from long distance for the day and converting 10-of-15 (66.7%) free-throws.
Freshman Maty Diabate scored a season-high 14 points off the bench for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)
Stonehill led by three (13-10) midway through the first quarter and then scored the final 14 points of the frame to open a 17 point lead (27-10) after ten minutes of play. Marshall book-ended the run with a pair of three-pointers, while Martin added a triple as well. The Skyhawks extended the run to 16-0 as senior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) scored the first basket of the second quarter. The Skyhawks extended the run to 31-5 to open a 29 point gap (44-15) with a minute to play in the half. Marshall drained two more three-pointers during that stretch, finishing the first half with 15 of her team-high 17 points during the first half.
Stonehill's lead reached 30 (49-19) on a three-pointer by sophomore Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) a minute and a half into the third quarter. The advantage peaked at 34 (55-21) on a Diabate basket with 6:45 to play in the frame. Midwestern sliced the lead to 28 after three quarters and while never seriously threatened during the second half, the Mustangs were able to close within the final 18 point margin down the stretch.
Stonehill (7-4, 3-3 NE-10) will now take a Christmas break before returning home on Wednesday, December 30, to host Bloomfield College for a non-conference contest at Merkert Gym at 6 p.m. Midwestern State (1-9, 0-0 LSC) is off until after the New Year when it opens its Lone Star Conference schedule at Texas Women's University on Saturday, January 2, at 2 p.m.