COLCHESTER, Vt. - The regionally-ranked Saint Michael's College women's basketball team improved to 3-1 for the first time since 2007-08 on Saturday, holding off Southern New Hampshire University, 63-58, in the Ross Sports Center during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights, who were tied for eighth in the latest D2SIDA East Region Media Poll, are also 1-1 in the league, while the Penmen fell to 2-2 and 0-2.
Senior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) had 14 of her game-high 16 points in the second half for Saint Michael's, which continued a season-opening nine-game stretch during which seven contests are at home. She shot 7-of-13 while adding six rebounds and three steals. Junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) recorded a double-double while posting 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals, and sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) totaled 12 points and seven boards. Senior Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) had 11 points, and first-year Tomi Akinpetide (Sydney, Australia/Rice Memorial) turned in eight points. Junior Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) dished off three assists.
Senior Kaylea Griffin (Green Springs, Ohio/Clyde) paced Southern New Hampshire with 12 points and seven rebounds, shooting 6-of-8, while junior Erin Doherty (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) notched 12 points. Graduate student Victoria Wiseman (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School) collected 10 points and three assists off the bench, and senior Brooke Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant) had nine points and four helpers.
Three different players scored en route to the Purple Knights grabbing a 6-1 lead by 17:24 of the opening half, as the Penmen did not score their first field goal until 16:59, on a steal and breakaway bucket by Griffin. Saint Michael's led by as many as seven points on four occasions, with Frappier making buckets to produce the first three seven-point margins, scoring seven points by herself on three consecutive possessions between 13:22 and 12:11. First-year Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) dropped home a lay-up at 11:17 to make it 19-12 before the Penmen countered with eight of the next nine points, as Doherty canned a three with 9:20 left before putting home the tying lay-up at 8:19. First-year Catherine Stinson (Lynn, Mass./Lynn English) hit a triple with 4:05 remaining to give the visitors their first lead, 27-25, but Saint Michael's closed out the half with six of the final eight points, going back in front when Burud hit two free throws with 2:29 to go. The Purple Knights led 31-29 at halftime.
After Springfield hit a tying jumper 36 seconds into the second half, Saint Michael's went on a 14-2 run, with Evora and Sabine both scoring six points, and the hosts led 45-33 on a Sabine bucket with 14:13 to go. Senior Lorreta Rocha (Espargos, Cape Verde/Olavo Moniz) hit a jumper to bring the Penmen within 57-51 at 6:08, but Frappier knocked down two free throws with 4:48 remaining to reestablish the double-digit advantage, creating a 61-51 score. Southern New Hampshire responded by scoring the next seven points during a 2:23 stretch, with Wiseman's lay-up at 2:08 bringing her team within 61-58. From there, Saint Michael's held the Penmen to only two shots, both of which were missed, and two turnovers. The visitors had a chance to tie in the final 10 seconds, but Sabine forced a turnover, picking up a steal, before knocking down two clinching freebies at 6.3 seconds.
The Purple Knights head to Assumption College on Tuesday for a 5:30 p.m. encounter. The Greyhounds recently defeated defending national champion Bentley University, which was ranked third in D2SIDA national poll.