COLCHESTER, Vt. - A tying three-point attempt was offline just before the buzzer, and the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team lost to Saint Anselm College, 75-72, on Saturday during Senior Day in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights slipped to 8-17 overall and 5-15 in the Northeast-10 Conference while completing their home schedule, and the Hawks improved to 17-10 and 13-7. Each of the last 10 meetings have now been decided by eight points or fewer.
Five Purple and Gold players scored in double figures, with senior Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) and first-year Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep) both scoring 15 points while each hitting three three-pointers. Junior Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) notched 12 points, nine assists to zero turnovers, and two steals, while classmate Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Sophomore Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) notched 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting off the bench with five rebounds and two assists, senior Maddy Bennett (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) contributed seven rebounds, and sophomore Cassandra Falone (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) had three assists. Redshirt first-year Casey Evans (Londonderry, N.H./Saint Andrew's School) added three rebounds in six minutes. The Purple Knights dished off 17 assists on 29 baskets while committing only five turnovers.
As the lone seniors on the squad, Bennett and Spencer were honored prior to their final career home games. During the contest, Spencer moved into a tie for 16th in program history in career threes (72) with Tara Clark '00.
Sophomore Shannon Ryan turned in 29 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks for the Hawks, and senior Ali Glennon totaled 21 points and two rejections. First-year Peyton Steinman added 11 points.
The Purple Knights twice led by three points early on, when Anderson and Spencer hit tie-breaking three-pointers at 7:12 and 6:30, respectively, of the first quarter, but Saint Anselm responded with a 10-2 run on the strength of two Ryan buckets. Down 17-12, Saint Michael's scored the final 12 points of the period, as Spencer scored eight points while Miller had four points and two assists.
The Hawks twice trimmed their deficit to three points and were still down only 32-28 on Ryan's lay-in with 3:30 to go in the second stanza, but the hosts closed out the half on an 8-3 run, with Bennett and Ferreri both burying threes and Miller dropping home a lay-up at 1:30 to finish the scoring. Saint Michael's shot 50.0 percent in the opening 20 minutes, including 6-of-7 from deep, while dishing off 12 assists to just three turnovers.
After seeing their lead trimmed to seven points on Ryan's basket at 5:40 of the third quarter, the Purple and Gold pushed its advantage to a game-high 13 on Falone's mid-range jumper with 3:55 left. Saint Anselm scored the next 10 points behind four scorers and was down only 56-52 heading into the final period, but Saint Michael's went back ahead by nine on Anderson's triple at 8:33 of the fourth quarter.
A personal 9-2 run by Glennon trimmed the lead to two, but the Purple Knights pushed their edge back to five on four occasions, including when Miller put home a lay-up at 3:56 to make it 72-67. Steinman responded with a lay-in 14 seconds later, and the Hawks used offensive rebounds to notch second-chance baskets at 1:55 from Ryan and 1:34 by Steinman, putting them up 73-72. After a Saint Michael's miss, the hosts regained possession at 36 seconds by forcing a shot-clock violation, but a missed three from the corner led to a Saint Anselm board and Glennon's breakout lay-in at 2.7 ticks, capping an 8-0 run. With one final chance, a Purple Knight missed a contested three from in front of her bench just before the buzzer, and the Hawks controlled for the final possession.
The Purple Knights complete their regular season on Tuesday at Merrimack College at 5:30 p.m.