Purple Knights hold close with undefeated Stonehill during 56-50 setback

EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team had the ball and was within four points of undefeated Stonehill College with fewer than 20 seconds remaining on Saturday before falling to the Skyhawks, 56-50, in a Northeast-10 Conference contest in Merkert Gymnasium. The Purple Knights slipped to 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the league, dropping their third decision by six points or fewer, while Stonehill is 7-0 and 4-0.

Saint Michael's senior Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) turned in a season-high 16 points and added three steals, while first-year Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) buried three three-pointers en route to nine points. Senior Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) hauled in 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end, junior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) and first-year Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.J./Coleman Catholic) each had six boards, and junior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) had four assists.

Junior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) led Stonehill with 17 points, going 10-of-10 on free throw while grabbing seven rebounds, and sophomore Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) notched 11 points. Classmate Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) totaled eight points and 13 rebounds.

Stonehill snapped a tie with the first five points of the second half, leading 28-23 by 18:33, and an 11-3 run made it 41-30 at 9:33. Dixon scored the first six points in that stretch, and Pelletier had the final five. With their team down 45-33, Purple and Gold upperclassmen played a role in 16 points during a 17-7 run that brought the visitors within 52-50 on a Gaudreau three with 25 seconds left. Deroy herself had four points and three helpers in that time.

After Dixon hit a pair of freebies with 24 ticks remaining, the Purple Knights possessed and had an opportunity to edge closer, but Dixon came up with a steal and knocked down two more free throws to seal the game.

The Purple Knights yielded only one basket in the opening 7:45 of the contest but themselves did not score during the opening six-plus minutes, eventually grabbing a 7-2 advantage behind consecutive Long buckets and a triple by Gaudreau with 12:40 left. Saint Michael's led until Pelleter drained a three-pointer to put the Skyhawks on top, 21-19, at 2:26, but Deroy dropped in a hoop with 35 ticks left to counter two Dixon freebies, and the teams each had 23 points at halftime.

Saint Michael's heads to Merrimack College on Tuesday for a 5:30 p.m. contest.