Women's Basketball Pushes Past Franklin Pierce in OT, 71-64

Junior Kelly Martin missed just three shots all afternoon in netting a career-high 33 points. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Martin's career-high 33 leads Skyhawks as Brown notches 300th career win

RINDGE, N.H. (February 6, 2016) – Stonehill College doubled up Franklin Pierce University in overtime after letting a 20 point halftime lead evaporate to claim a 71-64 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Franklin Pierce Fieldhouse this afternoon.

Junior guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) scored 20 of her career-high 33 points in the first half to lead Stonehill to the 20 point halftime lead (37-17). She missed just three shots all afternoon, finishing 11-for-14 from the field, including 7-of-8 from three-point distance, while converting all four free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

The win marks the 300th for Stonehill head coach Trisha Brown over her 15 seasons at the helm. She has now posted a career record of 300-138 (.685) in charge of the Skyhawks, leading the program to NE-10 postseason appearances each of her 14 previous seasons, ten NCAA Tournament bids and three Conference championships.

Sophomore Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) was the only other Stonehill player in double-figures with 11 of her 13 points after halftime, connecting on 4-of-6 shots from the floor and 5-for-8 at the free-throw line, with a game-high nine rebounds, two assists and a steal. Senior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) chipped in six points, seven boards, three assists and two steals.

Senior Dyamond Gardner (Cambridge, Massachusetts/Cambridge, Rindge & Latin) led three Franklin Pierce players in double-figures with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting, with eight rebounds, seven steals, three assists and a blocked shot. Classmate Natalie Bastian (Branford, Connecticut/Sacred Heart Academy) also netted 14 points as she made 5-of-10 from the floor, including 2-for-4 from three, making both free-throw attempts to go with four boards (three offensive). Senior Kara Charette (Fairhaven, Massachusetts/Fairhaven) contributed 13 points, two rebounds and two steals, while junior Jasmyne Fogle (Bridgeport, Connecticut/Kolbe Cathedral) chipped in seven points and seven boards.

Today's win was the 300th career victory for head coach Trisha Brown. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Stonehill finished shooting 44.4-percent from the field (24-for-54), including 48% (12-25) in the first half when it buried 6-of-11 three-pointers (54.5%), making 4-of-6 (66.7%) shots in overtime when it also converted all six free-throws. The Skyhawks held a 39-35 rebounding edge on the afternoon. Franklin Pierce shot 41.5% (27-for-65) from the floor overall, connecting at 55.9% (19-34) in the second half after making just 7-of-24 (29.2%) in the first half to get back in the game, but made just 1-of-7 (14.3%) in overtime. The Ravens also finished 2-for-14 (14.3%) from beyond the arc and 8-of-12 (66.7%) at the line.

Stonehill scored the first six points of the extra frame to take control (63-57) after two Martin free-throws with 2:44 remaining. Bastian drew Franklin Pierce within four (63-59) with a pair of free-throws with two minutes left, but Hyslip and sophomore Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) pushed the Skyhawks lead to eight (67-59) with 59-seconds to go. Bastian drilled a three to answer and Charette also pulled the Ravens within five in the final minute, but Stonehill made all of its free-throws to close out their fourth win in five games.

Stonehill never trailed in the contest in which the Skyhawks jumped out to an 18-5 lead after a quarter of play, while Franklin Pierce posted the same advantage in the fourth to force overtime. The Skyhawks held a 20 point halftime lead (37-17) behind Martin's 20 points, but the Ravens quickly got back in the game with a 17-4 run to open the third quarter that pulled them within seven (41-34) after a layup by junior Alison Palma (Stamford, Connecticut/Trinity Catholic) with 2:54 remaining.

Stonehill restored a 16 point lead (50-34) after a Hyslip layup with 32-seconds to go in the third before taking a 13 point advantage (52-39) into the fourth. Franklin Pierce closed the gap to seven (54-47) after a Gardner layup with 6:38 to play in regulation. The Skyhawks led by eight (57-49) after a Hyslip basket with 4:15 still to play, but wouldn't score again in the quarter as Franklin Pierce rallied with the final eight points of regulation to force overtime. Charette pulled the Ravens within two with 1:39 left and then knotted the score with 44-seconds remaining. Both teams had shots to avoid overtime, but missed in the final seconds.

Stonehill scored the first 11 points of the contest, including a trio of three-pointers from Martin, to take quick control of the game after just seven minutes. Martin had 12 points in the opening quarter, on four three-pointers, as the Skyhawks opened a 13 point lead (18-5) after ten minutes of play. Stonehill's lead reached 20 (27-7) after two free-throws from freshman Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) 3:18 into the second quarter, where it would remain at the intermission.

Stonehill (12-10, 7-9 NE-10) returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Merrimack College at Merkert Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (11-10, 8-8 NE-10) visits Saint Michael's College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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