#7 Stonehill Falls in Top Ten Showdown with #4 Nova Southeastern, 96-77

Junior Amy Pelletier led the Skyhawks with 20 points, shooting 4-for-9 from three-point range, this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Pelletier posts second-straight 20-point outing for Skyhawks 

DAVIE, Fla. (November 10, 2013) – Nova Southeastern University, ranked 4th in the USA Today Sports Division II preseason coaches' poll, posted a 96-77 victory over 7th-ranked Stonehill College in an early season top ten women's basketball clash on day two of the Nova Southeastern Tip-Off Classic at NSU Arena today.

Nova Southeastern shot 55.7-percent (34-for-61) from the field, including 63.3% (19-30) in the second half, to pull away. The Sharks made 9-of-24 (34.5%) three-pointers and converted 73.1% (19-26) of their free-throws for the afternoon, posting a 42-27 rebounding advantage for the contest.

Senior Richelle Carach (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) led six NSU players in double-figures with a double-double performance of 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds with two blocked shots as she made 7-of-9 shots from the field and converted all six free-throw attempts for the day. Sophomore Taylor Buie (Puyallup, Wash./Emerald Ridge) added 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, making 4-of-5 free-throws to go with seven assists and three boards. Senior Jessica Russi (Lake Mary, Fla./Father Lopez Catholic) notched a double-double with ten points and 13 assists to go with six rebounds and two steals.

Senior Amanda Burakoski (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. John's) contributed 13 points, four rebounds and two steals off the bench, while freshman Winter Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./Dade Christian) chipped in 11 points and five boards as a reserve. Junior Danielle Robinson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./South Broward) rounded out the Sharks double-figure scorers with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) posted her second straight 20-point outing to start the year as she led Stonehill with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 4-for-9 from three-point range, while connecting on all four free-throws. Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) was the only other Skyhawks starter in double figures with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, with three rebounds and three assists. Freshman Casey McLaughlin (North Andover, Mass./Central Catholic) contributed 13 points, shooting 4-for-6 from the floor, with a team-high five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench, while sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) chipped in eight points and three boards.

Freshman Casey McLaughlin had a season-high 13 points adn team-high five rebounds today.

Stonehill shot 40.7-percent (22-for-54) from the field, including 39.1% (9-23) in the second half, and was 8-for-18 (44.4%) from long distance while connecting at 65.8% (25-38) from the line. The Skyhawks posted a 23-17 edge in points off turnovers.

Stonehill held a pair of early leads, but Nova Southeastern led virtually start to finish. With the score tied (15-15) after a McLaughlin layup with 8:09 to play in the first half, NSU posted a 14-1 run to open a 13 point lead after a three-pointer from Burakoski with 5:05 left in the frame. The Skyhawks cut the gap to seven (42-35) with a Pelletier three with 33-seconds to go before halftime and then after another Burakoski triple with 22-seconds to go, Dixon closed out the half with a conventional three-point play as the Sharks led by seven (45-38) at the break.

NSU worked its lead to 15 (56-41) on a layup by Robinson nearly five minutes into the second half. Stonehill pulled within eight (59-51) on a Dixon layup with 13:35 remaining and the deficit was still only eight (64-56) after a three-pointer by senior Abbey Lalime (Orleans, Vt./Lake Region Union) with 11:43 to go.

NSU pulled away from there, running its lead to 19 (79-60) with a basket by sophomore Molly Blomer (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) with 8:08 to play. Stonehill drew within 12 (82-70) after a layup by junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) with 4:04 remaining, but would get no closer. The Sharks held and pushed their lead to 20 (92-72) on a Robinson layup with 1:29 left to the win.

Stonehill (1-1, 0-0 NE-10) returns to action next weekend when it participates in the Assumption College Tip-Off Classic next Saturday and Sunday, starting with a matchup with Concordia (N.Y.) College on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks first home game is Wednesday, November 20, when it hosts Merrimack College for their Northeast-10 Conference opener at Merkert Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Nova Southeastern (2-0, 0-0 SSC) is off until November 23, when it faces Kentucky State University at the Bellarmine Pre-Thanksgiving Classic at 1 p.m.

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