EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team stood tied with nationally-regarded Stonehill College early in the second half on Saturday before the Skyhawks pulled away for an 85-61 Northeast-10 Conference victory in Merkert Gymnasium. The Purple Knights moved to 3-17 overall and 2-14 in the league, while the Skyhawks, who are receiving votes toward this week's USA TODAY national poll, are 15-5 and 12-4. Saint Michael's upset Stonehill, 61-59, on Jan. 4 when it was ranked 22nd nationally.
Junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) turned in 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Purple and Gold, posting her third 20-point outing in eight games. Senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) contributed her ninth double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and snagging 10 boards while also blocking two shots. In the process, she pushed her career rebounding total to 570, passing Nicole Adach '13 (561) for 15th in program history while closing in on Karen Monahan '92 (572) and Erica Kensey '04 (576). Sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) collected nine points, six boards and four assists, and three players had six points.
Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) recorded 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals for Stonehill, and junior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) totaled 15 points, seven boards and three blocks. Sophomores Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) and Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) both notched 11 points.
Sophomore Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) buried a go-ahead three 13 seconds into the opening half, as the Purple Knights did not trail until fewer than five minutes remained in the stanza. Sabine triggered an 8-1 run with a pair of triples 28 seconds apart, giving her team a 17-10 advantage by 12:50, and Saint Michael's still led 25-19 on a Sabine lay-up at 7:37, by which time the visitors were shooting 10-of-18.
Faieta responded with eight straight points for Stonehill, but Sabine knotted the contest at 27 on a jumper at 4:16. Dixon then reeled off seven of the game's next nine points, and the hosts ultimately took a 34-31 edge into the locker room after Sabine beat the buzzer with a jumper.
Gaudreau again hit a quick trey in the second stanza, tying the game at 34 after 21 seconds, but the Skyhawks posted 27 of the ensuing 29 points, with Brown scoring nine points in that time. Burud converted a three-point play to create a 63-41 deficit with 10:16 remaining, but the Purple Knights came no closer.
Saint Michael's returns home after three games on the road by taking on Saint Anselm College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.