Skyhawks clinch Northeast No. 2 seed for NE10 Tournament, home court advantage for Sunday's quarterfinal round
Diabate recorded ten points and six rebounds for the Skyhawks (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
EASTON, Mass. (February 26, 2019) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in last week's NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, outscored Saint Anselm College, ranked seventh in the region, 23-7 in the fourth quarter to claim a 60-48 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.
Stonehill (19-8, 14-7 NE10) clinches the No. 2 seed for the NE10's Northeast Division with the win tonight, and will host a quarterfinal round matchup with Southwest No. 3 University of New Haven at Merkert Gym on Sunday at 3 p.m. Saint Anselm (18-8, 13-8 NE10) slips to the No. 3 seed from the Northeast Division and will travel to Southwest No. 2 Adelphi University for their quarterfinal on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Junior Grace Carter scored nine of her team-high 12 points in the decisive fourth quarter to lead a balanced Stonehill effort that saw eight of its nine players in the game score and all with multiple baskets. Seniors Maty Diabate and Tayler Wornum both shined on Senior Night. Diabate totaled ten points and six rebounds (three offensive), while Wornum contributed eight points and five boards. Sophomore Jennifer Worden grabbed a career-high matching 12 rebounds, to go with seven points, five assists and two steals, while freshman Kayla Raymond chipped in eight points, five boards, two steals and two blocked shots.
Junior Shannon Ryan and sophomore Peyton Steinman combined for 33 points to lead Saint Anselm, which was limited to 30.6-percent shooting (19-for-62), including 2-for-17 (11.8%) from three-point range. Ryan notched a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, with two blocked shots, while Steinman netted a game-high 17 points, seven boards and two steals.
Carter scored nine of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter to send the Skyhawks past Saint Anselm. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Stonehill finished shooting 31.8-percent from the field (21-for-66), but made 8-of-15 shots (53.3%) in the fourth quarter, while limiting Saint Anselm to 3-of-16 (18.8%), including 1-for-6 (16.7%) from three-point distance, to turn a four point deficit after three quarters of play into a 12-point win to clinch home court for the quarterfinal round of the NE10 Tournament.
Stonehill held a three-point lead (28-25) at the half, led by six first half points from freshman Isabella Santoro. Neither team led by more than five points in the opening half, which included three ties and three lead changes. Saint Anselm used a 9-1 spurt early in the second half to turn a three-point deficit into a five-point lead (36-31) after a basket from Steinman midway through the third quarter. The Hawks stretched their lead to six (41-35) with 2:15 to play in the third after five-straight points from Steinman.
Saint Anselm carried a four-point lead (41-37) into the fourth quarter, but Stonehill scored the first 15 points of the final frame to grab an 11-point lead (52-41) after a Raynham layup with 2:33 remaining. The Skyhawks run was 17-0 overall, going back to two free-throws by Wornum to end the third quarter. Worden and Raymond scored four points each during Stonehill's game-changing run, while Carter netted five.
Steinman stopped the run with a jumper, but Carter responded with a three-pointer to push the Stonehill lead to 12 (55-43) with 1:33 remaining. Steinman answered that with a triple at the other end, but the Skyhawks made five of six free-throws in the final minute to seal the win.
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