WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team suffered its fifth single-digit loss of the season on Friday evening, falling by a 74-66 count during non-league play at the University of New Haven in Charger Gymnasium. The Purple Knights complete the 2013 portion of their slate at 2-8, while New Haven is 7-3.
In her first collegiate start, first-year Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) posted 18 points, three assists and three steals while hitting all 11 free throw attempts, becoming the third Purple Knight to ever shoot at least 11-for-11 on freebies, and the first to do so in an opposing gym. During a contest that featured the top two rebounders in the East Region, senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) put together her sixth double-double of the year behind 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks to come within one rebound of her season average (11.0), which was second in the region.
Junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) had her best outing since transferring in before the season, setting season highs with 12 points and 14 boards. Sophomore Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) matched her career high with 12 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting while snagging a career-best six rebounds, and senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) dished out five assists.
Junior Bria Moore (West Haven, Conn./Hill Regional Career) led New Haven with 16 points and three steals, and classmate Rykema Stone (Bronx, N.Y./Wings Academy) totaled 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Three others had eight points, including junior Aquillin Hayes (Harlem, N.Y./Wings Academy), who added five rebounds after entering the night leading the region with 11.8 per game. She also contributed three assists and three steals for a Charger squad that committed only eight turnovers and picked up 21 of their 43 rebounds on the offensive end.
Hayes assisted the first hoop of the game before netting one of her own in putting New Haven on top 4-0 after 39 seconds, and the hosts continued to lead until senior Kaitlin Geary (Milton, Vt./Milton) nailed a jumper at 14:33 to provide Saint Michael's with an 11-10 edge, the first of eight lead changes in the half. Long turned in a three-point play with 10:59 left to give the Purple Knights their largest lead, 17-14, but New Haven received five points from Moore during a 7-0 run that put the hosts on top 26-21.
Consecutive Sabine hoops concluded a 6-0 stretch before Saint Michael's later overcame a 31-27 deficit when Evora forced the fourth tie at 31-31 with 45 seconds left. However, the Chargers hit three freebies in the final 35 seconds, as the final 10 points of the half came from the charity stripe.
The Chargers pushed their lead to 39-31 at 18:28 of the second half before Long dropped in a bucket at 15:59 and Gaudreau nailed a three-pointer at 15:25 to make it 39-36, but the hosts snapped a 3:19 scoreless stretch 18 seconds later while sparking an 11-0 run that took 2:37 to elapse. New Haven pushed its advantage to as many as 17 points at 62-45 with 7:16 left, but Sabine and junior Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) each hit a pair of free throws before Evora's three-point play at 5:22 completed a 7-0 run, and Saint Michael's trailed 62-52.
After the Chargers re-established their 16-point lead, Evora hit four straight free throws and Long dropped in a lay-up with 14 seconds remaining to create a 73-66 score, but New Haven hit one late freebie. The Purple Knights shot 4-of-6 from three-point range in the second half.
Saint Michael's returns home on Jan. 4 to begin a three-game Northeast-10 Conference homestand, taking on No. 22 Stonehill College at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks' national ranking is according to this week's USA TODAY poll.