Women's basketball pulls away in fourth quarter to down Le Moyne

Women's basketball pulls away in fourth quarter to down Le Moyne

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An 11-1 fourth-quarter run blew open a six-point game, and the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team rode another strong defensive effort to a 61-50 win over Le Moyne College on Wednesday at Ted Grant Court. The Purple Knights, who held consecutive opponents to 50 points or fewer for the first time since January 2013, improved to 9-7 overall and 7-4 in the Northeast-10 Conference. They are 6-2 in their last eight games. The Dolphins, who had won six of their last seven home games, slipped to 9-8 and 5-6.

Junior Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) registered her second career double-double behind 17 points and 11 rebounds while also picking up two steals. Sophomore Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) put home 15 points with nine rebounds, including five offensive, in addition to rejecting two shots. Classmate Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) added 11 points, and senior Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) joined Delaney in approaching a double-double, notching 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. She shot 5-of-6 on free throws and increased her career point total to 955.

The Purple Knights outrebounded the Dolphins, 42-40, forced 17 turnovers and blocked four shots while yielding 31.1 percent shooting. In its first game since last Tuesday, the Purple and Gold snapped a three-game losing streak to Le Moyne while winning on Ted Grant Court for the first time since Feb. 2, 2013. Saint Michael's last yielded 50 points or fewer in back-to-back road games between December 2010 and January 2011, and is now 4-1 in its past five road contests.

Senior Ailayia Demand led the Dolphins with 14 points, while junior Joanna Dobrovsky added 12 points and six rebounds. Classmate Courtney Webster added eight points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Dobrovsky scored the opening basket 20 seconds into the contest, and Le Moyne led for much of the first period, as Demand and Dobrovsky combined for the first nine points before junior Nicole Riddick canned a three-pointer to put the hosts up 12-9 at 2:36. Seventeen of the next 18 points came from Purple Knights, as Delaney's putback at 5:26 of the second stanza extended the lead to 26-13. Spencer's six points led five scorers in the run.

After netting only one field goal during a 13:01 stretch, Le Moyne received a triple from first-year McKayla Roberts to produce a 26-16 margin, but Ferreri's lay-in made it 28-16, and Spencer's jumper had her team up 30-19 1:42 before halftime. Riddick and Demand both dropped lay-ups to make it 30-23 at the intermission, but Evora turned in two free throws and Delaney hit a jumper with 7:26 left in the third quarter to put the Purple Knights ahead 36-25.

Demand scored five points in a 9-0 run that brought the Dolphins within four, the first of three four-point deficits in a 2:30 stretch, but a 5-1 spurt that spanned the break between quarters had the visitors up 46-38 19 seconds into the final quarter. Dobrovsky's jumper with 4:54 to go produced the third six-point hole of the period, at 50-44, before Saint Michael's pulled away with its 11-1 run. Spencer had seven points in the stretch, when four players scored.

The Purple Knights return home to host The College of Saint Rose on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.