Women's Basketball Survives at Pace, 67-63

Martin led the Skyhawks with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Martin leads Skyhawks to ninth straight win with 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (December 17, 2017) – Stonehill College, receiving votes in the most recent Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and ranked fifth in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, capped its first semester schedule with a 67-63 comeback win over Pace University, ranked seventh in the region, in a non-conference women's basketball matchup at the Goldstein Fitness Center this afternoon.

Senior guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led Stonehill to its ninth-straight win to cap the Skyhawks first semester schedule with 26 points on 8-of-17 shooting, converting 7-of-8 free-throws, to go with nine rebounds and six assists. Sophomore Grace Carter (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington) was the only other Stonehill player in double figures with a career-high matching 11 points, including a layup in traffic to put the Skyhawks in front for good with 23-seconds to play, and then a steal on Pace's ensuing possession to help seal the win.

Seniors Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) and Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) each chipped in eight points for Stonehill, while Hyslip also pulled down seven rebounds and Walsh tallied two assists, two boards and two steals.

Stonehill overcame 33.3-percent shooting (20-for-60) from the field for the win, outscoring Pace 21-4 from the free-throw line as the Skyhawks converted 21-of-28 (75%) attempts. The Skyhawks also posted a 45-33 rebounding advantage, outscoring the Setters 14-4 on second chance points.

Carter matched her career-high with 11 points, including the Skyhawks go-ahead basket and a clutch steal in the final minute. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Junior Alexandra Monteleone (Cold Spring, New York/Haldane) scored a career-high 27 points to lead Pace, shooting 12-for-26 from the floor, with six rebounds. Freshman Lauren Schetter (Beacon, New York/Beacon) added nine points, on 4-of-5 shooting, with seven rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots off the bench, while junior Kristina Olikhver (Moscow, Russia) chipped in eight points, four boards and three assists.

Stonehill, which made just 8-of-29 (27.6%) shots from the floor in the first half, dug itself out of a 14-point first half deficit and trailed by 12 (52-40) late in the third quarter before rallying for the win to keep the region's second-longest active winning streak alive. The Skyhawks scored the first basket of the game, but did not lead again until Martin scored a layup with 2:46 remaining in regulation. Stonehill has now won nine-straight games for the first time since an identical run during the 2014-15 season, matching its longest win streak since winning 14 in a row late in the 2007-08 campaign.

Martin capped the third quarter scoring with a three-pointer to pull Stonehill within nine (52-43) heading into the fourth. Pace maintained that nine point cushion (56-47) with 7:34 to play, but the Skyhawks used a 10-2 spurt to draw within a point (58-57) after a Walsh layup with 5:36 remaining. Walsh had five points during the run, including a three-pointer, while Carter also drained a triple for Stonehill.

Monteleone answered with a basket for Pace at the midway point of the fourth, but Stonehill extended its run to 14-4 to grab the lead (61-60) after two free-throws from sophomore Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) and a Martin basket with 2:46 left. The lead exchanged hands, with Walsh canning two free-throws with 1:47 left for another one-point Skyhawks lead (63-62).

However, sophomore Jackie DelliSanti (Commack, New York/Commack) made just one of two at the line with 47-seconds remaining and Carter pushed Stonehill back in front for good with a layup in traffic on the left side with 23-seconds to play. After a Pace timeout, Carter had a steal with 12-seconds on the clock and provided the Skyhawks with a three-point lead (66-63) when she made one of two free-throws with 11-seconds to play. Monteleone was fouled going to the basket at the other end, by missed both free-throws and Martin sealed the win with one of two at the stripe with two-seconds on the clock.           

Stonehill (9-1, 6-1 NE10) is off until Thursday, December 28, when it visits University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, ranked 24th in the WBCA Division II poll, for a non-conference matchup at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks do not return to Merkert Gym until it rings in the New Year by hosting Roberts Wesleyan College on New Year's Day at 1 p.m. Pace (8-4, 5-1 NE10) hosts Saint Thomas Aquinas College on Saturday, December 30, at 1:30 p.m.

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