MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team trimmed a 14-point second-half hole to four in the final minute before its comeback effort fell short in a 53-47 loss to Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday at SNHU Fieldhouse. The Purple Knights slipped to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference, as each of their losses has come by single digits, with the past three setbacks being suffered by a total of 15 points. The Penmen are 4-1 and 2-0, with each of their wins coming by single digits.
Sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) shot 5-of-9 to post 12 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals for Saint Michael's, and senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) added 12 points and five boards. Senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) tacked on 10 points and four assists, and junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) hauled in 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Bianca Langford (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name Central Catholic/UMass Lowell) recorded a game-high 14 points for the Penmen while adding six rebounds, and sophomore Erin Doherty (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) and first-year Sara Ryan (Quincy, Mass./Archbishop Williams) each notched eight points.
The Purple Knights yielded the first five points before Long dropped in consecutive buckets, but the Penmen scored 14 of the next 16 points, using a 10-0 run to cap that stretch and grab a 19-6 advantage with 10:53 left in the opening half. Burud's lay-up at 4:28 brought Saint Michael's as close as 21-14, but the visitors went into the locker room trailing 25-14.
Consecutive jumpers by Burud and Deroy in the early portion of the second stanza trimmed the Purple Knights' deficit to 31-25 at 16:53, and a Deroy lay-up at 14:55 made the score 33-29 before Southern New Hampshire pushed its lead back out to 37-29. Three consecutive hoops by Burud, Deroy and Long created a 37-35 margin with 8:46 to go, but the Penmen responded with the next 12 points by 4:33 in an effort to put the game away.
However, first-year Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) and senior Kaitlin Geary (Milton, Vt./Milton) buried back-to-back three-pointers before Sabine nailed a jumper, and Saint Michael's trailed just 49-43 at 2:26. Sabine's triple with 49 ticks to go was followed by a Burud free throw at 12 seconds, providing a 51-47 score, but the Purple Knights came no closer.
Saint Michael's returns home to face Assumption College, which is receiving votes toward the USA TODAY national poll, on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Greyhounds advanced to last year's NE-10 Championship finale and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.