Women's basketball's comeback falls short in 63-56 loss to No. 12 Stonehill on Senior Day

Women's basketball's comeback falls short in 63-56 loss to No. 12 Stonehill on Senior Day

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team trimmed a double-digit deficit to four points in the final minutes before falling shy of No. 12 Stonehill College, 63-56, on Saturday during Senior Day in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights are now 9-12 overall and 4-12 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Skyhawks are 18-2 and 14-2. They are tied for 12th in the D2SIDA National Media Poll while standing second in the region and have qualified for the past two NCAA Tournaments.

Senior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) recorded a season-high 21 points while hitting all five free throw attempts in addition to pulling down nine rebounds, and junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) collected 13 points, six boards, five assists and two steals. Sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) added seven points, four rebounds, five steals and four helpers, and first-year Tomi Akinpetide (Sydney, Australia/Rice Memorial) contributed seven points and six rebounds off the bench.

Sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) led Stonehill with 16 points, going 8-of-8 on freebies, and senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) turned in 15 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. First-year Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting as a reserve, and junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) totaled seven points, six assists and three steals.

Marshall knocked down a three-pointer to begin the game before Faieta dropped in a lay-up, but the Purple Knights countered with the next six points. Sabine hit a jumper, Evora nailed a tying three, and senior Kelly Frappier's (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) free throw at 17:11 of the opening half put the visitors ahead 6-5. That proved to be the first of six lead changes in a matter of 4:32. Stonehill twice led by as many as three points in that stretch, while Burud and Sabine each had go-ahead buckets. After Burud's lay-in made it 14-13 in favor of the hosts, the Skyhawks responded with a 15-1 run in 5:02, as three players had four points. Burud knocked down a pair of freebies to draw Saint Michael's within 28-19 at 4:59, but Stonehill scored the next nine points before first-year Akinpetide scored for the Purple Knights 34 seconds before the break. The Skyhawks led 37-21 at halftime.

Saint Michael's continued to trail by between 11 and 16 points until the final four-plus minutes of the contest, using a 9-0 run to trim its deficit to 56-50 with 2:52 remaining. Sabine had four points in the run. Hyslip hit a jumper at 1:46 to push her team's lead back out to eight, but Burud made a lay-in before an Evora steal led to two Sabine freebies, and the hosts trailed 58-54 with 1:02 on the clock. However, the teams traded two points apiece before Hyslip went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 27 seconds, with a Purple Knight turnover occurring in between her trips to the line.

As part of Senior Day, Frappier and Sabine were honored during a ceremony prior to the game.

The Purple Knights hit the road to face Saint Anselm College on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The contest was recently rescheduled from next Tuesday.