Women's Basketball Hangs on at Assumption, 82-80

Raymond capped a 23-point game with the winning basket with under a second remaining (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Raymond leads four Skyhawks in double-figures with 23 points, including winning basket with 0.3-seconds remaining

WORCESTER, Mass. (February 23, 2019) – Freshman forward Kayla Raymond's driving layup from the left side spoiled an Assumption College comeback from 22 points down and lifted Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in this week's NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, to an 82-80 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action inside Laska Gymnasium this afternoon.

Raymond's winning basket with 0.3-seconds remaining capped a 23-point afternoon for the freshman, after netting a season-high 32 points at Merrimack College on Wednesday, to lead four Stonehill players in double-figures. She scored 14 of her team-high 23 in the first half, finishing 7-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-7 from three-point distance, and converted all four of her free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds, an assist and blocked shot.

Junior Grace Carter added 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 3-for-7 from three-point distance, with four assists, two steals and two rebounds, while sophomore Jennifer Worden totaled 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-5 from deep, with three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Junior Kelsey Shaw chipped in with ten points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting, including a three-pointer, and converting her lone free-throw, with five assists. Classmate Gabrielle Reuter pulled down a team-high six boards, with six points and three assists.

The win enabled Stonehill (18-8, 13-7 NE10) to clinch a first round bye for the upcoming NE10 Tournament. The Skyhawks can sew up home court advantage for that NE10 Quarterfinal on Sunday, March 3, with a win over Saint Anselm College in Tuesday's regular season finale on Senior Night at Merkert Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Assumption (13-14, 8-12 NE10) visits Southern New Hampshire on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Senior Morgan O'Donnell led Assumption with a game-high 35 points on 13-of-19 shooting, finishing off her double-double with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Sophomore Meghan Cramb was the only other Greyhound in double-figures with ten points, while senior Jordan Hawkins registered nine points and six boards. Junior Brittani LeBlanc chipped in with ten assists and six points.

Carter added 18 points for the Skyhawks as four finished in double figures (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Stonehill jumped out to a 12-point lead after scoring 27 points, including 12 from Raymond, in the opening quarter, draining all six three-point attempts and finishing 9-for-16 (56.3%) from the floor overall in the first ten minutes. Trailing by three (13-10) with four minutes to go in the opening frame, the Skyhawks closed out the quarter with a 17-2 run, capped by consecutive threes from Worden and Raymond. It was a barrage of three-point plays that provided the 12-point cushion after the game was knotted at 15-15 with 2:12 remaining, with Raymond connecting on a pair and Carter converting a conventional three-point play.

Shaw drained a three-pointer midway through the second quarter that pushed Stonehill lead to a game-high 22 (41-19), ending a 25-4 Skyhawks run overall, that spanned the first two quarters. Stonehill carried an 18-point cushion (45-27) into halftime and stretched that advantage to 19 (54-35) after a Carter triple four minutes into the third quarter.

Assumption stormed back into the game by scoring the next 15-points to close back within four (54-50) after a LeBlanc layup with 2:22 left in the third. Senior Abby McKanna sparked run with a three to answer Carter's on the previous possession and O'Donnell scored six points, while Hawkins netted four. Worden and Carter quieted the run with baskets to close out the third quarter scoring as Stonehill took an eight-point edge (58-50) into the final quarter.

Reuter opened the fourth with a jumper to stretch the Stonehill lead to ten (60-50) and the Skyhawks lead was still eight (64-56) after a Carter jumper two and a half minutes later. Assumption pulled back within two (64-62) after a three-pointer from Cramb and a three-point play by O'Donnell with six minutes to go. After a Shaw layup with 4:35 to play, O'Donnell pulled the Greyhounds within a point (66-65) with a three-point play and then gave the hosts their first lead of the afternoon (67-66) with a layup with 3:49 left.

Reuter answered with a layup and then Raymond made two free-throws with 2:49 to play that gave Stonehill a three-point edge (70-67). Worden and Raymond buried back to back threes to give the Skyhawks a seven point lead (76-69) with 52-seconds left to seemingly seal the win, but junior Brianna Capacchione sandwiched two more Raymond free-throws with a pair of three-pointers to pull Assumption back within a possession (78-75) with 38-seconds on the clock.

O'Donnell pulled Assumption within one (78-77) with two free-throws after Stonehill missed a pair at the other end. Carter and Worden split free-throws attempts with a chance to seal the Skyhawks win, and O'Donnell buried a trying three with 2.5-seconds on the clock that looked to force overtime. After a timeout and advancing the ball into the frontcourt, Carter inbounded the ball to Shaw, who found Raymond cutting to the basket from the top of the key for the contested winning layup with 0.3-seconds to play to lift Stonehill to victory.

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