Stonehill Holds Off Southern Connecticut, 67-64

Sophomore Anna Griffin led the Skyhawks past Southern with a career-best 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. 

Skyhawks earn Brown's 200th career win behind career-best 18 points from Griffin

EASTON, Mass. (January 5, 2010) – Stonehill College withstood a late rally to claim a 67-64 victory over visiting Southern Connecticut State University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore Anna Griffin (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson) scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Skyhawks, shooting 7-for-11 from the field and converting 4-of-5 free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds. Senior Kristen McWhirter (Melvin Village, N.H./New Hampton Prep) and freshman Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) each recorded 12 points and a team-high five rebounds, with McWhirter also dishing out four assists to go with three steals and two blocked shots. Senior Emily Rousseau (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford) added ten points and a game-high eight assists for the Skyhawks.

The win is the 200th in the career of head coach Trisha Brown, who has posted a 200-88 career mark in her tenth season at Stonehill.

Southern Connecticut got a team-high 15 points from sophomore Keshia Primo (Mississauga, Ontario/Fr. Goetz Catholic) to go with four rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Two players notched double-doubles, with junior Sylvonya Moore (Stockton, Calif./Tokay) registering 14 points and ten rebounds to go along with four assists and four steals, while freshman Moni Smith-Ocran (Bronx, N.Y./Dewitt Clinton) posted 12 points and 12 rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench. Senior Logan Lentz (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambers burg) chipped in 14 points, two assists and two steals.

Head coach Trisha Brown collected her 200th career win with tonight's victory. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Stonehill finished shooting 48-percent (24-for-50) from the field after hitting 57.1% (16-28) of its shots in the first half, outscoring Southern 17-7 at the free-throw line. The Owls shot 40.6% (26-64) from the floor, but just 27.8% (10-36) in the second half, including 1-for-6 (16.76%) from three-point range. SCSU outrebounded the Skyhawks 43-31, finishing with a 23-15 advantage in points off turnovers despite finishing with four more (21-17) miscues, and posting a 21-11 edge in second-chance points.

Stonehill used a 12-2 run to open its largest lead of the night (63-54) after a Griffin layup with three minutes remaining in the game. Griffin had three points in all during that stretch, with McWhirter drilling a key three-pointer during that stretch as well. Southern rallied one more time, closing with a 10-4 run to draw within three (67-64) after a layup off her own steal by Fantini with 13-seconds to go. The Owls had a chance to tie it late after a pair of missed free throws on the Stonehill end, but Primo came up short on a jumper as time expired.

The game featured eight ties and 16 lead changes throughout, with neither team leading by more than two possessions until Stonehill deciding run late in regulation. Stonehill carried a five point lead into halftime after a jumper from senior Amanda Smith (Penacook, N.H./Merrimack Valley) with 50-seconds to play.

Southern scored the first six points of the second half, sparked by a Lentz three, to grab a quick lead just over a minute in. Stonehill answered with a six point run of its own, four from Griffin, to retain its five point lead (48-43) with 15:39 left. The Owls regained the lead (52-51) after a Moore layup with 9:05 to play and the lead see-sawed over the next four minutes before the Skyhawks embarked on its clinching run.

Stonehill (9-4, 4-4 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits Pace University at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Tuesday to host Assumption College at 5:30 p.m. Southern Connecticut (6-7, 2-6 NE-10) hosts 19th-ranked Bentley University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.