BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team forged an early double-digit lead over Division I University of Vermont on Saturday before falling short of the Catamounts, 80-57, in the Patrick Gymnasium during an exhibition contest. The Purple Knights utilized only eight players versus Vermont, a 2012 America East Tournament semifinalist.
Senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) put together 16 points and nine rebounds for the Purple and Gold, while sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) had a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards, shooting 5-for-11 from the floor. First-year reserve Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) scored 11 points while turning in four steals, and senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) notched five assists. In her first game since transferring in, junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) hauled in seven caroms during 18 minutes. Saint Michael's shot 10-of-16 on free throws in the second half after attempting only two during the opening stanza.
First-year Kristina White (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) paced Vermont with 19 points, shooting 4-of-7 from three-point range, while classmate Kylie Butler (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista) notched 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Senior Sam Simononis (Perkasie, Pa./Pennridge) scored 12 points, and junior Niki Taylor (York, Maine/York) collected seven rebounds, all on the offensive end.
In a 2-2 contest, the Purple Knights forged ahead with an 8-0 run, as Evora came off the bench to score the final five points, giving the visitors a 10-2 advantage with 15:20 remaining in the opening half. Saint Michael's pushed its lead to 17-6 on sophomore Megan Gaudreau's (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) three-pointer at 12:27 before the Catamounts trimmed their deficit to five, at 21-16, but Evora drained a triple with 5:50 to go in extending her squad's advantage back to 28-19. From there, Evora's runner off glass from the right side of the lane at 2:48 accounted for the Purple Knights' final two points of the stanza, at Vermont put together a 15-2 run in heading into the locker room with a 34-30 advantage.
The Purple and Gold hit its first six field goal attempts en route to a 8-for-10 start from the field, eventually shooting 12-for-24 (50.0%) for the half, while holding the Catamounts to 10-of-33 (30.3%) shooting. Due to its 9-1 offensive rebounding edge, Vermont had an 11-0 advantage in second-chance points.
The hosts extended their run to 22-4 by grabbing a 41-32 lead at 17:13 of the second half before Long knocked down a pair of free throws to bring Saint Michael's within 43-36 with 15:53 remaining. However, Vermont steadily pulled away, leading by as many as 26 points during the second half. The hosts held a slim 46-37 advantage on the glass, but its 17-8 offensive rebounding edge led to Vermont outscoring the Purple Knights 21-5 in second-chance points.
The Purple Knights begin their regular season on Nov. 14 by hosting the University of Bridgeport at 5 p.m. for their first of four games in seven days under first-year head coach Shannon Kynoch.