Purple Knights suffer rare home loss during setback to Saint Rose in NE-10 contest

Purple Knights suffer rare home loss during setback to Saint Rose in NE-10 contest

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team lost for just the second time in nine home games this winter on Wednesday, falling to The College of Saint Rose, 74-56, in Ross Sports Center during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights are 8-8 overall and 3-8 in the league, while the Golden Knights are 8-9 and 4-7.

Junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) scored 24 points for Saint Michael's, shooting 9-of-16, including 2-for-2 on three-pointers, and hitting all four free throw tries. She also hauled in seven rebounds, including six offensive, and dished out three assists in 38 minutes. Senior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) turned in 12 points, and junior Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) notched 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting with three assists. Sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) had eight points, six boards, five assists and two steals, going 8-for-8 on freebies. As a team, the Purple Knights were 12-for-12 at the charity stripe, tying the third-best perfect performance in school history.

Sophomore Staci Barrett (Elmont, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) paced Saint Rose with 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while senior Jamie Hutcheson (Ancaster, Ontario/Bishop Tonnos C.S.S.) had 15 points and four helpers. Classmate Gabie Polce (Chelmsford, Mass./Central Catholic) totaled 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and senior Mariah Lesure (Amherst, Mass./Tabor Academy) posted 12 points in 13 minutes. The visitors shot 53.7 percent while holding a 50-26 advantage on scoring in the paint.

The teams exchanged the lead six times in the opening half, all within the first 7:57. Gaudreau's mid-range jumper at 17:15 gave the Purple Knights a 4-2 edge before the visitors scored the next seven points, with Lesure providing the final four on a pair of buckets. Gaudreau and Burud knocked down three-pointers 1:04 apart to put Saint Michael's back in front, but Hutcheson's pair of free throws at 12:03 made it 13-12 in favor of the visitors, providing the fourth lead change in 1:12, and the Golden Knights led for the remainder of the contest. The hosts trailed by three, 19-16, before Saint Rose embarked on a 14-0 jaunt during a 5:35 stretch. Five players scored, including Barrett netting all six of her points consecutively.

Burud responded with six points in an 8-0 run, bringing the Purple Knights within 33-24 at 41 seconds, but a turnover on the final possession led to Polce's fast-break bucket just before the buzzer, and the visitors took an 11-point advantage into the locker room. Burud had 13 of her team's 24 points by intermission, while Saint Rose shot 53.3 percent in the opening half, bolstered by a 28-14 scoring edge in the paint.

Lesure and Evora traded two freebies apiece in the opening 22 seconds of the second half, as Saint Michael's continued to trail by 11, before the Golden Knights scored 11 of the next 13 points to pull ahead by 20 for the first time. Hutcheson had four points in that time. Sabine responded with consecutive hoops for the hosts, and Burud drained a three from the top of the key at 11:24 to produce a 50-35 margin. However, Barrett hit a free throw before Polce dropped in a lay-up with 10:13 to go, and Saint Rose never again led by fewer than 16 points.

The Purple Knights head to Pace University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. for their next contest.