Stonehill Shoots Past Saint Michael’s, 78-64

Senior Kristen McWhirter led the Skyhawks with a career-best 24 points, including the 1,000th of her career, today against Saint Michael's. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

McWhirter nets career-best 24 points, including 1,000th of career to lead Skyhawks to first NE-10 win of the season

EASTON, Mass. (November 28, 2010) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II preseason coaches' poll, notched its first Conference win of the season with a 78-64 victory over Saint Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior guard Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) led Stonehill to the win with a career-best 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, while converting all five free-throw attempts as she became the 26th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points. She finished with 1,019 points in 104 career games for the Skyhawks, joining classmate Emily Rousseau (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) as 1,000-point scorers at Stonehill this week. McWhirter also collected four steals, three rebounds and two assists.

Rousseau, who scored her 1,000th point at Stonehill earlier this week at Merrimack, finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Junior Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) added nine points, a team-high eight rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots, while senior Amanda Smith (Penacook, N.H./Merrimack Valley) chipped in with a season-high nine points and seven rebounds (three offensive).

Sophomore Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohanasen) led Saint Michael's with a double-double effort of 15 points, aided by 7-for-7 shooting at the free-throw line, and ten rebounds. Senior Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y./Colonie Central) also netted 15 points to go with four rebounds, while freshman Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) chipped in with 11 points off the bench.

Senior Emily Rousseau, who netted her 1,000th point at Stonehill earlier this week, added 16 points and seven boards. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Stonehill finished shooting 51.9-percent (28-for-54) from the field, including a blistering 68% (17-for-25) in the second half to build on its six point (37-31) halftime lead. The Skyhawks also converted 18-of-19 (94.7%) free-throw attempts, including 13-of-14 in the first half. Stonehill out-rebounded its second-straight opponent, posting a 38-29 advantage today, and added a 16-11 edge in points off turnovers despite having three more miscues (16-13) than Saint Michael's. The Purple Knights were limited to 35-percent (21-for-60) shooting for the day, including 37.5% (9-for-24) in the second half, with a 2-for-11 effort from three-point range, while converting 20-of-22 (90.9%) free-throws.

Stonehill settled for a six point (37-31) halftime lead as Adach capped the first half with a three-point play for Saint Michael's. The Skyhawks came out of the lockerroom and pushed their lead to a game-high 12 points (45-33) after a layup from freshman Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) four minutes into the second half. Saint Michael's was back within eight (51-43) after two free-throws from senior Meghan McCormack (Barrie, Ontario) with 13:13 to play, but Stonehill scored the next seven points to push the lead to 15 (58-43) after a three-pointer and two free-throws from McWhirter.

Saint Michael's trailed by ten (66-56) after a Pintka layup with five minutes to play, but that was as close as it would get with Stonehill posting a 10-4 run over the next four minutes to open a game-high 16 point advantage (76-60) after a Rousseau layup off her own steal with 1:15 to go that sealed the win.

Stonehill jumped out to a 13-4 lead five and a half minutes into the contest with an 11-0 run capped by two Ewing free-throws. McWhirter sparked the run with a three-point play and the Skyhawks scored five of its 11 points during the run at the free-throw line. Saint Michael's answered with a 12-2 run to take the lead for a second time (16-15) after a three-point play by senior Marilyn Ferreira (New London, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) with 10:53 left in the half.

Postgame Interviews

Stonehill took back the lead with a layup by Williams that sparked a 10-0 run to regain its nine point lead (25-16) after a McWhirter three that pushed her over 1,000 for her career (1,001) with 8:10 left in the half. The Skyhawks lead grew to as much as ten on two occasions before settling in at six at the break.

Stonehill (5-2, 1-2 NE-10) is back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Saint Anselm College for an NE-10 matchup at 5:30 p.m. Saint Michael's (1-2, 1-2 NE-10) hosts Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.