ALBANY, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team returned to Northeast-10 Conference play after nearly a month away from league action by suffering a 73-54 loss to The College of Saint Rose on Wednesday in Nolan Gymnasium. The Purple Knights are 5-8 overall and 2-6 in the NE10, while the Golden Knights improved to 6-7 and 4-3.
Junior Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) notched 13 points and seven rebounds for the visitors, while senior Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) had nine points. Sophomore Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) turned in eight points and two blocks off the bench, first-year reserve Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep) scored seven points, and sophomore Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) totaled six points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Senior Maddy Bennett (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) snagged seven boards and dished off three assists from the post, while junior Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) tacked on three steals.
Junior Karissa Birthwright led Saint Rose with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Isa Vara de Rey notched 16 points. Sophomore Leah Dollard turned in 14 points and nine boards, classmate Takora McIntyre had 11 points and seven assists, while first-year Nina Fedullo totaled nine points, 12 boards and three blocks off the bench.
Saint Michael's forged a 10-4 lead by the time 7:34 remained in the opening quarter when Spencer knocked down her second three-pointer in 38 seconds, and three different Golden Knights scored to help their team knot the game by 5:18 before Delaney's jumper 36 ticks later put the visitors back in front. However, Saint Rose responded with a 14-2 run that carried into the second stanza, as Delaney and Ferreri each hit one free throw to account for their team's points. Fedullo netted six of points in the stretch for the hosts, who led 24-14 at 8:00.
Purcell drained a jumper before Spencer's freebie brought her team within seven, but the next seven points came from the Golden Knights, who doubled their lead at 31-17. However, five different Purple Knights scored in an ensuing 13-0 run, as Bennett and Purcell both dished off two assists apiece, and the visitors trailed just 31-30 at halftime following Delaney's lay-in with 38 seconds to go.
Dollard's three-point play 14 seconds into the third period ignited a 26-8 run, with Dollard scoring the first seven points and Birthwright netting the ensuing nine. After the hosts led by 19 near the end of the period, Purcell trimmed the deficit to 15 on a lay-in at 8:02 of the fourth quarter, making it 57-42, but McIntyre netted the next five points, and Saint Rose never again led by fewer than 18 points.
Four of the Purple Knights' next five games is at home, beginning with American International College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.