Women's basketball erases 10-point deficit to rally past regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce

Women's basketball erases 10-point deficit to rally past regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team rallied from an early 10-point deficit to down regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce University, 72-56, during Northeast-10 Conference play in the Ross Sports Center on Wednesday. The Purple Knights snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 9-11 overall and 4-11 in the league, while the Ravens, who are tied for fifth in this week's D2SIDA East Region Media Poll, fell to 11-7 and 9-6. Saint Michael's also avenged a 21-point loss to Franklin Pierce suffered in November.

Sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) led the hosts with 21 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists, shooting a perfect 10-of-10 on free throws to lead her team's 22-of-24 charge at the charity stripe. Evora now owns two of the seven perfect free throw performances in program history where a Purple Knight made at least 10 freebies. Senior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) shot 9-of-15 while turning in 18 points, eight boards and four helpers, and classmate Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) totaled 15 points and five rebounds. Junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) contributed 14 points and seven boards, hitting all six of her freebies, and classmate Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) handed out four assists.

Sophomore Alison Palma (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic) led Franklin Pierce with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals off the bench, while graduate student Jessica Hurd (Kegworth, England/Burleigh College) had 15 points and five caroms. Classmate Kate McDonald (Fall River, Mass./BMC Durfee) tacked on 10 points, while junior Dyamond Gardner (Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge & Latin) turned in six boards and five assists.

Saint Michael's trailed 12-2 by the time four minutes had elapsed, as the Ravens were 4-of-7 when McDonald knocked down a three-pointer at the 16-minute mark. The Purple Knights responded with 28 of the next 39 points, holding Franklin Pierce to only 11 points in the 17:12 that followed its hot start. Evora had 13 of her team's points in that stretch, giving the hosts a 17-16 lead by hitting a three at 9:09 before snapping the game's final tie with a lay-in at 4:44, producing a 25-23 edge. Two Evora freebies created a seven-point edge, and Frappier's jumper at 56 seconds accounted for the final points of the half, sending Saint Michael's into the locker room with a 32-25 lead.

The Purple Knights pushed their lead to 12 less than eight minutes into the second half thanks to a 6-0 spurt, as Gaudreau twice dished to Sabine for baskets before Evora made a pair of free throws at 12:26 to put her team on top 46-34. A 16-6 counter by Franklin Pierce created a two-point margin, and the Ravens trailed just 54-52 on Palma's jumper with 6:43 to go. However, Saint Michael's held the visitors scoreless for the next 5:45, slowly increasing the lead into double figures behind a 10-0 run, which turned into a game-ending 18-4 stretch. The Purple Knights shot 16-of-16 on free throws in the second half, including making all 12 tries during the closing 1:09, with Burud hitting half of those.

The Purple Knights host nationally-ranked Stonehill College on Saturday for Senior Day at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks, which is tied for 12th in the D2SIDA National Media Poll, is second in this week's D2SIDA regional rankings. Stonehill qualified for the past two NCAA Tournaments.