Senior co-captain Kristen McWhirter scored 14 of her team-high 16 points in the second half in today's win over Dowling. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
McWhirter and Williams lead Skyhawks past Golden Lions in second half
Senior co-captain Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) led the way for Stonehill as she scored 14 of her game-high 16 points in the second half to help the Skyhawks break away in the second half. She made 5-of-11 shots from the field and converted 5-of-6 free-throws to go with seven rebounds and two assists.
Junior Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) was the only other Skyhawk in double-figures with ten points and a team-best eight rebounds (four offensive) with two steals. Classmate Cori O'Kane (Pocasset, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) contributed nine points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals, while senior co-captain Emily Rousseau (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) chipped in eight points and two assists.
Junior Cori O'Kane contributed nine points, four rebounds and four assists. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
Sophomore Seja Gamble (Newport News, Va./Woodside) led Dowling with 16 points as she made 7-of-12 shots from the field to go with six rebounds. Junior Kelly Puwalski (Queens, N.Y./Mary Louis Academy) made 3-of-7 three-pointers on her way to ten points and six rebounds, while classmate Sarah Schicher (Vienna, Austria) grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and blocked six shots to go with six points.
Stonehill overcame a 30.5-percent (18-for-59) shooting performance from the field, including 3-for-17 (17.6%) from three-point range, by converting 18-of-22 (81.8%) of its free-throw attempts. The Skyhawks also took good care of the ball with just 11 turnovers, compared to 19 for Dowling. The Golden Lions shot 32.7% (18-55) from the field, including 4-for-15 (26.7%) from three-point range, but made only 8-of-16 (50%) free-throws and out-rebounded the Skyhawks 43-35.
The teams were tied at 20 apiece at halftime after neither team shot 30-percent from the field in the opening half. Dowling scored the first two baskets of the second half to regain the lead after a Schicher layup, but Stonehill drew within one (26-25) after a layup from senior Amanda Smith (Penacook, N.H./Merrimack Valley) and took the lead (27-26) with two Williams free-throws with 15:20 left.
McWhirter followed with a three-pointer to put Stonehill up four (30-26) with 14:45 left, but Dowling forced the games fourth tie with two free-throws by sophomore Nora Bahgat (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire). The Skyhawks gained a five-point lead (37-32) with two McWhirter free-throws with 9:18 left, but the Golden Lions responded with six-straight points to regain the lead (38-37) after a three by Puwalski with 7:54 remaining.
Stonehill responded with a 7-0 spurt to take a six-point lead (44-38) after a McWhirter layup with 5:34 left. Dowling was within four (50-46) with 1:05 on the clock, but the Skyhawks seven of its last eight free-throws from there, four from Rousseau, to seal the victory.
Dowling scored the first seven points of the contest and led by six (12-6) after a jumper from freshman Julia Koppl (Innsbrook, Austria) with 12:17 left in the half. Stonehill responded with a 9-2 run over the next seven minutes to take its first lead (15-14) after an O'Kane three with 5:48 left in the frame. The Golden Lions led by two (20-18) after a Schicher layup with 2:40 remaining, but Williams made a layup with 1:51 to go that sent the game into halftime even.
Stonehill (1-0, 0-0 NE-10) is right back in action tomorrow when it faces host Molloy on day two of the NE-10/ECC Challenge at 3 p.m. Molloy dropped a 73-61 decision to 14th-ranked Franklin Pierce University in today's second game. The Skyhawks home opener will be Wednesday when it hosts Franklin Pierce in Merkert Gym to open NE-10 play at 5:30 p.m. Dowling (0-1, 0-0 ECC) will face the Ravens tomorrow at 1 p.m.