ALBANY, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team lost at regionally-ranked The College of Saint Rose, 78-63, on Saturday during Northeast-10 Conference action in Nolan Gymnasium. The Purple Knights are now 7-10 overall and 3-9 in the league, while the Golden Knights, occupiers of the 10th spot in this week's D2SIDA East Region Media Poll, improved to 14-5 and 8-4 behind their 10th win in 11 games.
Sophomore Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) had a game-high-tying 21 points for Saint Michael's, her fourth 20-point outing this winter, while shooting 10-of-15. Senior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) had 18 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, turning in her ninth double-double. She also became the 12th player in school history to reach the 1,100-point plateau (1,104). Classmate Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) scored 11 points while adding a career-high-tying seven assists. She also buried three three-pointers, matching Caitlin Quinn '12 for fourth in school annals with 161 for a career.
First-year Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) blocked a season-high-tying three shots while snagging four boards. The Purple Knights held an 11-6 advantage on the offensive glass while committing only 12 turnovers during the contest. They also went 3-of-4 on free throws to the hosts' 20-for-27 effort.
Junior Staci Barrett netted 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds and three steals for Saint Rose, and classmate Taylor Nazon shot 4-of-6 from three-point range on her way to 18 points. First-year Karissa Birthwright added 11 points, senior Keyontae Williams had 10 points, and sophomore Britani Stowe dished off seven assists.
Spencer and Delaney scored the first two baskets of the game to give Saint Michael's a 4-0 edge, which proved to be the largest advantage for either team until late in the opening half. Spencer's bucket-and-one gave her seven points and put the Purple Knights up 12-9 at 4:41 of the first quarter before the hosts converted the third lead change on Nazon's triple with 3:52 to go, concluding a 5-0 counter. The fourth of five ties in the first half occurred by the time 3:33 remained, on Purple Knight sophomore Tomi Akinpetide's (Sydney, Australia/Rice Memorial) lay-in, but Barrett's jumper 15 seconds later gave Saint Rose the final lead of the stanza.
With her team trailing 21-18 after a period, Gaudreau knocked down a pair of threes 1:32 apart to cap a go-ahead 8-2 run early in the second stanza, but three Golden Knights scored during a 6-0 response, and the hosts led 29-26 at 3:58 on a pair of free throws by senior Sarah Illingworth. Another Gaudreau three produced a 33-31 score before Saint Rose grabbed a half-high six-point lead at 1:28 on Illingworth's jumper. Sophomore Maddy Bennett's (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) jumper 24 seconds later brought the visitors within four points by halftime. The Purple Knights used a 4-of-10 showing from deep to stay in the game, as Saint Rose held edges of 11-0 in points off turnovers and 11-3 in free throw attempts.
The hosts scored the first nine points of the second half, with Barrett tallying the final four to push the lead to 46-33, before Gaudreau wrapped a jumper and two assists around a Nazon three to bring Saint Michael's within 49-39 by 3:26 of the third quarter. Another Nazon triple was met by Gaudreau dishing off for back-to-back hoops by Spencer and Burud, cutting the deficit to nine, but Nazon again connected from deep at 32 seconds to put Saint Rose up 12, and the lead never slipped back to single digits. Burud twice dropped in baskets to bring Saint Michael's within 10, but the hosts went up by as many as 17 points early in the fourth quarter.
Saint Michael's plays its next two at home, beginning by facing the University of New Haven on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.