O'Brien Leads Hounds Past Pace, 64-55

Worcester, Mass. (January 28) -- Led by a career-high 21-point effort from freshman guard Morgan O'Brien (Reading, Mass./Reading), the Assumption College women's basketball team improved to 9-1 at home with a 64-55 victory over Pace University on Tuesday night.

Prior to tonight's game, Assumption head coach Kerry Phayre was honored with a commemorative basketball in recognition of her 300th win at Assumption, which she earned this past Saturday with a 55-47 victory over American International.

Assumption jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after a three from senior Tafanie Roye (New Britain, Conn./Capital Prep Magnet) just 2:36 into the game. The Hounds continued to lead for the next four minutes before Pace tied the game for the first time at 12-12 with 13:36 left in the half on a jumper from Shanice Maynard. After a brief Setter lead, the Hounds regained the lead on a three-pointer from O'Brien as she caught the pass off a screen at the top of the key for one of her five first-half threes.

The Setters kept their foot on the gas offensively and stretched the lead up to eight at 25-17, completing a 17-5 run over a span of 6:34. Assumption and O'Brien were not done in the half however as the Hounds used four more O'Brien three-pointers over the final 6:31 to take an eventual 36-33 lead into the halftime break.  O'Brien led Assumption's first-half scorers with 15 points as she was 5-for-6 from distance, while Roye also posted a 10-point half. The Hounds shot just 35.5 percent from the field in the opening period, but 58.3 percent from three-point land. Pace was a solid 58.3 percent from the field in the first half, led by a 16-point half from freshman Shanice Allen.

O'Brien and the Hounds picked up right where they left to start the second half as the hosts pushed the lead up to seven in the opening minutes. After a Setter three-point play by Allen cut into the lead, the sixth three of the night from O'Brien made it a 43-36 margin with 15:04 remaining. Pace answered with a 12-6 run though over the next six minutes and pulled to within one at 49-48 midway thru the period after a layup from Yuni Sher.

It was Assumption that answered right back though with a 7-0 run of its own, capped by a layup from senior captain Jamie Insel (Clinton, N.J./Voorhees) to seize control at 56-48. Allen eventually cut the lead down to just four on a layup with 4:31 left before the Hounds  pulled away for the nine-point victory.

O'Brien, who tied the single-game school record with seven three-pointers, led the Hounds with the 21-point outing. Her 7-for-8 shooting was good for 87.5 percent and a single-game school record. Both marks broke the previous records held by all-time leading scorer Stacy Mattioli '01 and were set 14 years ago. Insel finished with a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double, her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. Roye also added 17 points, including an 11-for-12 effort at the free throw line.

The Hounds shot 35.2 percent from the field in the game, knocked down nine three-pointers and outscored the Setters 17-12 from the free throw line. Pace, which shot 50 percent from the field (21-for-42), was led by a 21-point effort from Allen as the Hounds held her to just five second-half points. Maynard added 10 points before fouling out, while Kirsten Dodge added 10 points off the bench.

Assumption held a 36-31 edge in rebounding, including a 16-7 advantage on the offensive glass. The Hounds were also stingy on defense, holding the Setters to just 55 points and forcing 18 Pace turnovers.

With the win, Assumption improves to 12-6 overall and 8-5 in Northeast-10 play, while Pace drops to 4-15 overall and 3-10 in the league.

Assumption is back in action on Saturday, February 1st as the Hounds travel to Southern Connecticut for a 1:30 p.m. start in New Haven, Conn.

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