Women's basketball falls 63-55 as Assumption pulls away late

Women's basketball falls 63-55 as Assumption pulls away late

WORCESTER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team saw Assumption College pull away late in a 63-55 loss on Saturday at Laska Gym during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights slipped to 8-17 overall and 4-16 in the league, as 11 of their losses have come by 10 points or less, while the Greyhounds are 15-10 and 11-9. Assumption entered the day tied for third in the NE-10 Northeast Division.

Senior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) led Saint Michael's with her 12th double-double, totaling 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two assists. Junior Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville), sophomore Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) and first-year Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) all scored 10 points, with Delaney and Spencer both shooting 5-for-8. Delaney pulled down six rebounds, while Evora shot 2-of-4 from three-point range.

The Purple Knights shot 43.6 percent from the floor to the Greyhounds' 34.9 percent, including a 4-for-18 (22.2%) effort from beyond the arc, but attempted only seven free throws to the hosts' 18. The teams swapped the lead 18 times during the contest.

In her 99th career game, Burud pushed her career totals to 1,211 points, within nine of Kathy King '89 for eighth in program history, and 740 rebounds, just three short of Kathy Stubbing '87 for seventh. The 5-foot-8 Burud now has 300 career offensive rebounds, joining 6-foot-1 Kelly Borch '99 (311) and 6-foot Liz LeFebvre '03 (308) as the lone Purple Knights to reach that plateau since they began being tracked in 1992-93. Senior Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) hit one three-pointer and now has 58 this year, tying Brigid Hegarty '06 for eighth in school annals.

Senior Kelly Conley scored 14 points to lead Assumption, and junior Allison Stoddard had 11 points and three assists. Classmate Kelly Carey added 10 points.

Spencer's jumper 3:45 into the game was the first field goal for either squad, and Burud's jumper with seven seconds left in the opening period gave the visitors an 8-7 edge. Neither team led by more than two points until Stoddard and junior Jaclyn Storey provided back-to-back hoops to make it 11-8 1:16 into the second stanza, but Burud hit a free throw and Gaudreau buried a three-pointer to put Saint Michael's back in front, as six lead changes occurred during a 5:06 stretch of the second quarter alone. Delaney's consecutive buckets provided the Purple Knights with an 18-15 edge and the final lead of the half, with Burud's jumper at 1:04 pushing the advantage to 22-17 before junior Morgan O'Brien canned a three at 41 seconds to trim the visitors' lead to two at halftime.

Seven more lead swings took place in the opening 5:26 of the third quarter, with swaps occurring on five straight possessions at one point, and Assumption extended its edge to 31-28 on a pair of freebies by junior Jo Impellizeri with 3:13 to go. A quick 5-0 spurt later put Saint Michael's in front, 37-35, thanks to sophomore Maddy Bennett's (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) lay-in at 1:15 and Evora's three-pointer 39 seconds later, but Impellizeri's lay-up just before the final buzzer forced a 37-37 tie heading into the final 10 minutes.

Evora buried a go-ahead trey 49 seconds into the fourth period, but the Greyhounds responded with an 11-2 run, as Conley and sophomore Kiera O'Donnell both had four points, and Stoddard's three created a 48-42 margin with 5:41 left. Bennett and Spencer countered with baskets less than a minute apart to trim the deficit to two, and Delaney's put-back allowed Saint Michael's to trail 50-48 with 2:46 to go. However, Conley scored the next five points, and the Purple Knights never again trailed by fewer than five points, at 58-53 on a Burud three-point play and 60-55 thanks to two Burud freebies with 34 seconds to go.

Saint Michael's concludes its season by hosting Stonehill College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.