Martin scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Skyhawks to an eighth-straight win heading into Wednesday's first place showdown. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)
Skyhawks clinch record 37th NE10 Tournament appearance behind Martin's 27 points
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (January 27, 2018) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 20 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll and receiving votes in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, led start to finish in picking up its eighth-straight win with a 73-55 victory over Adelphi University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at the Center for Recreation and Sport this afternoon.
Senior guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led Stonehill to its 13th-straight win in NE10 play with a game-high 27 points, including 19 in the first half, on 9-of-21 shooting, including 5-for-13 from three-point range, converting all four free-throws and adding eight rebounds. Classmate Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) was the only other Skyhawk in double figures with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) chipped in eight points and three assists.
Junior Niajah Morgan (Bronx, New York/Cardinal Spellman) led three Adelphi players in double-figures with 15 points, nine rebounds (five offensive) and three steals, while senior Simone Hobdy (St. Albans, New York/The Mary Louis Academy) added 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Sophomore Fallyn Stephens (Marion, Ohio/Marion Harding) contributed 11 points, while senior Natalie Fekula (Monongahela, Pennsylvania/Elizabeth) pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds (seven offensive) with six points.
Hyslip added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Barry Gutradt)
Stonehill made 8-of-15 shots from the floor, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, in building a 14-point lead (23-9) after a quarter of play and never looked back. Leading by a point (5-4) two minutes into the game, the Skyhawks used an 11-2 run fueled by three from deep by Martin to open a ten-point lead (16-6) with 2:43 remaining in the opening frame. Stephens answered briefly for Adelphi with a three-pointer, but Stonehill scored the final seven points of the quarter, including five from sophomore Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island), to open the 14-point cushion.
Stonehill's lead never dipped inside double-digits the rest of the way, stretching the margin to 17 (31-14) after a Martin triple midway through the second quarter. The Skyhawks lead grew to 21 (40-19) on a layup by sophomore Gabrielle Reuter (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) with two minutes left before the half, and then 23 (46-23) late in the frame before carrying a 21-point lead (46-25) into halftime.
Stonehill extended its lead to 24 (52-28) after a Martin layup two and a half minutes into the third quarter and then Adelphi pulled back within 15 (56-41) with a pair of free-throws by freshman Katie Murphy (Smithtown, New York/Hauppauge) with two minutes remaining in the frame. The Skyhawks wouldn't let the Panthers any closer, wrapping a 13-3 run around the third quarter break, to grab a 25 point lead (69-44) after a layup from junior Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) three minutes into the fourth. The final 18-point margin was the closest Adelphi would get the rest of the way.
Stonehill seals its position in next month's NE10 Tournament with its win today. The Skyhawks are the only program to appear in all 37 NE10 women's basketball postseason tournaments, as they sit nine games ahead of sixth-place Saint Michael's College in the NE10's Northeast Division with seven games to play. Stonehill is five games in front of fourth place Saint Anselm College in its quest to clinch a first round bye.
Stonehill (17-2, 13-1 NE10) now turns its attention to Wednesday's NE10 Northeast Division first place clash with No. 3-ranked Bentley University at Merkert Gymnasium for its Purple & White Game at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at stonehillskyhawks.com. Adelphi (11-11, 7-7 NE10) visits Le Moyne College on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
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