GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - Adelphi University senior Sade Jackson (Hackensack, N.J./Aquinas) hit a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining to snap a tie, and the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer in falling shy of the 25th-ranked Panthers, 78-76, on Saturday in the Center for Recreation and Sport.
The Purple Knights slipped to 3-15 overall and 2-12 in the Northeast-10 Conference while nearly pulling their second upset of a nationally-ranked foe this year, and of their third opponent at least receiving national votes. Adelphi is now 15-5 and 9-5 while sitting 25th in this week's USA TODAY national poll.
Saint Michael's still holds a 10-4 all-time series advantage, with all four losses coming by six points or fewer. Sophomore Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) turned in a career-high 17 points behind 5-of-9 three-point shooting, also setting a personal best for threes. First-year Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) notched 13 points and two steals while going 6-of-6 on free throws, and juniors Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) and Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) tacked on 10 points apiece. Sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) posted 10 points and six rebounds, while senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) collected nine points, five steals and four assists. Classmate Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) hauled in seven boards.
Senior Jessica Kitrys (Parlin, N.J,/Sayreville War Memorial) totaled 19 points and eight rebounds for Adelphi, and first-year Calli Balfour (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) added 12 points. Junior Kelly Mannix (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) had 11 points, and Jackson contributed eight helpers.
Sabine put home a lay-up 1:22 into the game to give Saint Michael's a 6-2 lead before Adelphi countered with 13 of the next 15 points, forging ahead 15-8 on a Balfour jumper at 14:13 of the opening half. After Frappier's lay-up brought the Purple Knights within 18-16 at 10:11, the Panthers went on an 18-5 run, twice leading by as many as 15 points in the final 3:49, the second of which being 38-23. From there, the visitors embarked on a 28-9 run that spanned halftime, as they trailed just 40-31 at intermission.
Seven players scored during the run, with Gaudreau turning in eight of the first 17 to bring her team within 43-40 on a triple at 18:19 of the second stanza. Evora drained a go-ahead three-pointer at 15:36, producing a 49-47 margin, and Frappier followed with a lay-up 42 seconds later. The Panthers responded with a 16-3 jaunt, with a Balfour lay-up making it 63-54 with 9:21 remaining. Just 26 seconds later, Gaudreau nailed a three to spark a 14-0 run, bookending the stretch with another triple at 5:11 to provide Saint Michael's a 68-63 edge.
The next seven points came from Adelphi before Long hit two freebies with 3:32 left to tie the game at 70, but the Panthers tallied six straight points during a 49-second span to pull back in front. In the next 2:34, Deroy hit two free throws, Burud converted a lay-up and Evora made two from the charity stripe with 10 seconds remaining to knot the contest at 76 before Jackson turned in her heroics.
Saint Michael's, which was kicking off a three-game road swing, heads to Franklin Pierce University on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. contest.