#8/10 Stonehill Slips at Franklin Pierce, 81-71

Sophomore Kelly Martin led the Skyhawks with 21 points tonight. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Charette and Hurd combine for 44 points for Ravens

RINDGE, N.H. (February 18, 2015) – Franklin Pierce University, ranked No. 5 in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll and seventh in the inaugural NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, claimed its fourth straight win with an 81-71 triumph over Stonehill College, ranked No. 8 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 and 10th in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II national polls, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at the Franklin Pierce Fieldhouse tonight.

Junior Kara Charette (Fairhaven, Massachusetts/Fairhaven) led Franklin Pierce to its second win over a top ten team in the last week by scoring 15 of her game-high 26 points in the second half on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, while converting 12-of-13 free-throws, to go with six rebounds, an assist and blocked shot. Graduate student Jessica Hurd (Kegworth, England) added 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor, converting all six free-throw attempts, with four rebounds and four assists. Postgrad Kate McDonald (Fall River, Massachusetts/BMC Durfee) and junior Natalie Bastian (Branford, Connecticut/Sacred Heart Academy) each contributed nine points for the Ravens, with McDonald also dishing out four assists.

Sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led three Stonehill players in double figures with 21 points (13 first half) on 6-of-15 shooting, including 2-for-6 from three-point range, while converting 7-of-8 free-throws to go with four rebounds and two assists. Senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) added 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting with a game-high seven rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) registered 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, converting her lone free-throw with four boards, while senior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) and junior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) both chipped in eight points for the Skyhawks.

Franklin Pierce finished shooting 53.2-percent (25-for-47) from the field in the contest, including 56.5% (13-23) in the second half to clinch the victory. The Ravens converted 27-of-31 (87.1%) free-throw attempts, including 18-for-21 (85.7%) in the second half, holding a 12-9 edge in points off turnovers. Stonehill shot 40.9-percent (27-for-66) from the field, including 40% (14-35) in the second half, connecting on 6-of-26 (23.1%) three-pointers and converting 11-of-15 (73.3%) free-throws. Rebounds finished even at 34, but the Skyhawks outscored the hosts 10-0 on second chance points.

Senior Tori Faieta added 14 points and a game-high seven boards. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Franklin Pierce overcame an early double figure deficit to trail by one at halftime (37-36) and scored the first ten points of the second half to take a nine point lead (46-37) after a Charette layup four minutes in. Hurd scored four points for the Ravens during that stretch. Stonehill closed back within four (48-44) following a Brown layup with 14:30 remaining, but the Ravens reclaimed their nine point cushion (53-44) after a Charette bucket a minute later.

Martin pulled Stonehill within three (55-52) midway through the second half, but Franklin Pierce answered again and restored its nine point lead (64-55) on a layup by sophomore Jasmyne Fogel (Bridgeport, Connecticut/Kolbe Cathedral) with 5:21 on the clock. The Skyhawks drew within five (64-59) with a hoop from freshman Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) with four minutes still to go, but that would prove to be as close as they would get as regained the nine point advantage (68-59) with two Charette free-throws with 1:36 left.

Stonehill cut the gap to five (68-63) after a Faieta basket with 1:17 remaining following a missed free-throw at the other end, but Franklin Pierce converted 13 of 14 free-throws the rest of the way to clinch the victory and snap the Skyhawks six game winning streak. The loss also slips Northeast Division Champion Stonehill a game behind Southwest Division leading Adelphi University for the overall top seed for the upcoming NE-10 Tournament with two games remaining.

Stonehill raced out to a ten point lead (12-2) after a Faieta layup four minutes into the game, a run keyed by a Pelletier three-pointer and three-point play by Marshall. Martin gave the Skyhawks an 11 point lead (18-7) with 13:23 left in the half and then the lead stretched to a game-high 12 (22-10) with a Faieta basket a minute later. A 10-3 run pulled Franklin Pierce back within five (25-20) with 8:45 to play in the half after six points by Hurd and four from Charette.

Franklin Pierce cut the gap to two (27-25) with a three-pointer from junior Dyamond Gardner (Cambridge, Massachusetts/Cambridge Rindge & Latin) with 6:23 to play in the half. Marshall answered with a three-pointer for Stonehill, but the Ravens pulled even (30-30) on a triple by freshman Jemma Thacker (Aldgate, Australia) with four minutes to go in the half. Charette gave the hosts took their first lead of the night (34-32) with three minutes remaining, but Martin scored five straight points for the Skyhawks to regain a three point lead (37-34) with 1:21 left before taking the one point lead into halftime.

Stonehill (20-3, 16-3 NE-10), which debuted at No. 1 in the inaugural NCAA Division II East Regional rankings released today and is No. 1 in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, looks to get back on track when it hosts rival Bentley University for the 100th meeting all-time between the two programs for Senior Night on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium on Saturday at 5 p.m. Please note the time change of this game from its original time. Franklin Pierce (16-8, 12-7 NE-10) travels to Merrimack College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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