Women's Basketball Turns Back #13 Southern N.H., 66-56

Senior Paige Marshall led the Skyhawks with a career-high 28 points this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Marshall's career-high 28 points leads Skyhawks to big divisional road win 

MANCHESTER, N.H. (December 12, 2015) – Stonehill College, ranked seventh in this week's D2SIDA East Regional poll, took advantage of a week off to return to the win column with a 66-56 victory over regionally top-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, ranked 13th in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 poll and receiving votes in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) poll, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at SNHU Fieldhouse this afternoon.

Senior guard Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) fired Stonehill to the bounce back win with a career-high 28 points as she scored 16 in the second half and finished shooting 9-of-18 from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point distance, while converting 9-of-11 free-throws to go with six rebounds (three offensive) and two assists. Junior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) added 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, with seven rebounds and two assists, while freshman Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) contributed 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting off the bench with four boards.

Sophomore Catherine Stinson (Lynn, Massachusetts/Lynn English) led Southern New Hampshire with 14 points as she made 6-of-13 shots from the field, while junior Sara Ryan (Quincy, Massachusetts/Archbishop Williams) was the only other Penman in double-figures with ten points, five rebounds and two assists. Freshman Aaliyah Paxton (Hainseport, New Jersey/Rancocas Valley) chipped in eight points and a game-high nine rebounds for SNHU.

Stonehill shot just 34.9-percent from the field (22-for-63) for the contest, including 42.4% (14-33) in the first half to build a 14 point (35-21) halftime lead, finishing 2-for-10 (20%) from three-point distance, converting 20-of-26 (76.9%) free-throws for the day. The Skyhawks held a 42-40 rebounding edge and took advantage of 20 SNHU turnovers for an 18-2 margin for points off turnovers, committing just 11 themselves. Southern New Hampshire finished shooting 36.8-percent from the floor (21-for-57) after connecting at just 28% (7-25) in the first half, making 3-of-10 (30%) three-pointers and 11-of-19 (57.9%) free-throws.

Junior Kelly Martin added 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Stonehill led all but 51-seconds on the afternoon, doubling up Southern New Hampshire in the first quarter (18-9) to take quick control. The Skyhawks led by five (10-5) after a Diabate basket midway through the opening quarter. SNHU pulled within two (11-9) after two Ryan free-throws with four minutes left, but Stonehill scored the final eight points of the frame to take a nine point lead (18-9) into the second, capped by a Marshall three-pointer.

Marshall opened the second quarter with a jumper to push Stonehill's lead into double-figures for the first time (20-9). She added a three-point play less than a minute later to push the Skyhawks lead to 12 (23-11). SNHU drew back within six (23-17) with six straight points from three different players with 4:53 to play in the half, but Stonehill regained its double-figure lead (28-17) when senior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) made one of two at the free-throw line with 3:27 remaining in the second quarter.

Stonehill carried a game-high 14 points lead into the break (35-21) after a layup by sophomore Kate Ross (Providence, Rhode Island/The Wheeler School) at the buzzer. The Skyhawks maintained their double-figure lead through most of the third quarter before SNHU used a 10-1 run to close the gap to four (46-42) after a layup by sophomore Jennifer Shelp (Apalachin, New York/Vestal) with 48-seconds remaining in the frame. Ryan sparked the run with a three-pointer, while Shelp scored four total points during that stretch.

Stonehill took a five point cushion (49-44) into the fourth quarter, but SNHU was back within three twice in the first half of the final frame before the Skyhawks were able to clinch the key road win. Leading by three (53-50) with 5:36 to play, Martin canned a triple and Diabate added a hoop to stretch the Skyhawks lead to eight (58-50) with 3:45 left. Marshall extended the lead to ten (62-52) with a pair of free-throws with 52-seconds left to seal things as she made all six of her attempts from the stripe in the last minute.

Stonehill (6-3, 3-3 NE-10) is back in action next Friday, December 18, when it faces Tarleton State University from Texas at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, at 6:30 p.m. (EST). The Skyhawks don't return home until Wednesday, December 30, when they host Bloomfield College for a non-conference contest at Merkert Gym at 6 p.m. Southern New Hampshire (8-2, 4-2 NE-10) hosts Fisher College for a non-conference matchup next Saturday at 5 p.m.

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