Senior Mary Louise Dixon led Stonehill with a game-high 23 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals in her final regular season home game. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
Lehr and Jones double-doubles lead Hawks to victory
EASTON, Mass. (February 25, 2014) – Saint Anselm College closed out the regular season with a 70-58 victory over Stonehill College, ranked fifth in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional Rankings, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.
Seniors Allie Jones (South Kingstown, R.I./South Kingstown) and Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass./Cohasset) both notched double-doubles to lead Saint Anselm to the victory. Lehr scored 18 points to go with a game-high 16 rebounds as she made 8-of-15 shots from the field and 2-of-3 free-throws to go with two blocked shots. Jones added 14 points and 11 rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, converting 2-of-3 free-throws, with two assists, a blocked shot and steal. Classmate Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) scored a team-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, while converting all four free-throws to go with seven rebounds.
Saint Anselm finished shooting 55.1-percent (27-for-49) from the field, including 61.5% (16-26) in the first half to take a ten point (35-25) lead at the intermission, connecting on 4-of-8 (50%) three-pointers and converting 12-of-14 (85.7%) of its free-throw attempts for the night. The Hawks dominated the glass with a 43-24 rebounding advantage which was turned into an 11-4 edge in second chance points. Stonehill was held to 34.8% (23-66) shooting overall, including 6-for-24 (25%) from beyond the arc, while converting 6-of-7 (85.7%) free-throws. The Skyhawks turned the ball over just eight times, compared to 22 for Saint Anselm, and recorded an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) led the way for Stonehill with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, while converting all three free-throws to go with four rebounds, four assists and five steals with just one turnover. The rest of the team shot a combined 14-for-50 (28%) from the field, with just junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) joining Dixon in double-figures with ten points on 4-of-12 shooting, including 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. Junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) chipped in with nine points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, while senior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) pulled down a team-high seven boards.
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Saint Anselm never trailed, scoring the first four points of the contest on its way to a seven point lead (11-4) after a three point play from Lehr two and a half minutes into the contest. Lehr posted seven points in all during the opening stretch. The Hawks lead expanded to 11 (17-6) after a Jones layup with 12:45 to play in the half before Stonehill used an 11-2 run to pull within two (19-17) with a Pelletier jumper with 8:16 remaining in the half. Pelletier and Dixon both netted four points during that stretch, while Faieta sparked things with a three.
Saint Anselm answered that run with ten straight points of its own, including six by Jones, to take a 12 point lead (29-17) with 4:03 left in the half. The Hawks took a ten point cushion (35-25) into halftime and quickly pushed the lead to 14 (41-27) when Jones made one of two at the line three minutes into the second half.
Stonehill shot just 34.3-percent (12-for-35) in the second half and was unable to mount a rally. The Skyhawks closed within eight (45-37) after a Dixon jumper with 12:27 to play, but Saint Anselm pushed the lead to a game-high 17 (57-40) with a Jones triple with 8:15 remaining to cap a 12-3 spurt. Stonehill drew back within eight (59-51) on a put back by sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) with 3:09 to go, but would get no closer.
Stonehill (17-8, 14-7 NE-10) heads into the postseason where it has earned a first round bye and the No. 2-seed from the Northeast Division and will host Southwest No. 3 seed American International College for a Northeast-10 Tournament quarterfinal on Sunday at 3 p.m. Saint Anselm (15-11, 11-10 NE-10) will be seeded fifth in the Northeast Division and will travel to Le Moyne College, seeded fourth in the Southwest Division, for an NE-10 first round clash on Friday night at 7 p.m.