Worcester, Mass. (February 19) -- On a snowy Senior Night at Laska Gym, the Assumption College women's basketball team defeated Saint Michael's College by an 80-66 final to improve to 12-2 at home this season as the Hounds won their third straight game. Prior to the game, the program's two student assistants and three senior players were recognized for their hard work and dedication during their Assumption careers.
Assumption is ranked No. 10 in the NCAA East Region rankings, which were released for the first time this season on Wednesday afternoon.
Assumption led from the outset after a three-pointer just 2:45 in from senior Shannon Ray (Yonkers, N.Y./Ursuline Academy). A three from sharpshooting freshman Morgan O'Brien (Reading, Mass./Reading) made it a 6-0 margin before the visitors eventually tied the game at 6-6 following a jumper from senior Alexa Long. Assumption regained the lead on another three from O'Brien at the 14:45 mark and extended the lead up to as many as seven at 17-10 with 11:56 on the clock after a layup from junior Caitlin Ackerman (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South).
The Purple Knights closed that lead all the way down to just one at 25-24 with 6:52 left in the half, but the Hounds ended the half on a 15-4 run behind five points from sophomore Kelly Conley (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) to take a 40-28 lead into the halftime break. Conley gave the Hounds their first double-digit lead of the game with 1:05 left on a pair of free throws, followed by a layup from freshman Johanna Impellizeri (Seaford, N.Y./St. Anthony's) with 23 seconds left for the 12-point margin.
The Hounds shot 40.5 percent from the field in the half and hit four three's, while the Purple Knights connected at a 39.1 percent clip and were just 1-for-6 from three-point land. Ray and O'Brien led the Hounds with nine points each, while Long led all first-half scorers with a 10-point period.
In the second half, Assumption led by double digits the entire way and by as many as 19 points to earn the regular-season series split with Saint Michael's. Senior Cara Deroy cut the lead to 12 at 46-34 just 2:33 into the second period, but the Hounds stretched the advantage back to 16 on another O'Brien three less than one minute later. The lead ballooned to 19 at 71-52 with 5:31 left on another three from Ray and the hosts maintained at least a 15-point lead until a layup by Makenzie Burud accounted for the 14-point final in the final seconds.
Insel led the Hounds with a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double to go with 16 points from Ray, 12 from O'Brien and 10 from Ackerman. O'Brien knocked down four three-pointers in the game, while Ray also added a team-high five assists.
Long led all scorers with 24 points for the Purple Knights, along with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double from Burud. Deroy also added 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting in the loss.
Assumption shot 45.5 percent from the field in the second half and 42.9 for the game, but was just 14-for-21 at the free throw line. The Hounds owned a narrow 43-39 edge on the boards, including an 18-12 advantage on the offensive glass. Saint Michael's shot 41.2 percent from the field for the game and just 28.6 percent from three-point land. The Purple Knights outscored the Hounds by a 20-14 advantage at the charity stripe, while Assumption forced 15 Saint Michael's turnovers.
With the win, the Hounds improve to 15-9 overall and 11-8 in the Northeast-10, while the Purple Knights have now lost 12 straight to fall to 3-20 overall and 2-17 in the league.
Assumption is back in action on Saturday, February 22nd as the Hounds travel to Saint Anselm for a 1:30 p.m. start at Stoutenburgh Gym in Manchester, N.H.
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