Worcester, Mass. (February 11) -- On Tuesday night, the Assumption College women's basketball team built an early lead and held off a second-half surge by Stonehill College to pull out a 79-71 home victory over the Skyhawks and snap a three-game losing streak. The game marked the team's Play 4 Kay game as the Hounds sold pink t-shirts in the lobby throughout the evening, with all proceeds being donated to the Play 4 Kay Foundation. The Play 4 Kay Foundation helps fund breast cancer research in the fight against the disease.
Assumption bolted out to a 12-2 lead just 2:40 into the game, capped by a long jumper from junior Caitlin Ackerman (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South). With the score 14-7 just two minutes later, the Hounds strung together four straight three-pointers, including a pair from freshman Morgan O'Brien (Reading, Mass./Reading), to extend the lead out to a 19-point advantage at 26-7. Ackerman hit a jumper in the lane with 10:57 left to push the run up to 12-0 over 4:24 before a layup by Stonehill's Tori Faieta stopped the Hounds scoring spurt.
After a three-point barrage from the Skyhawks cut the Assumption lead back down to just eight at 32-24, the Hounds came out of a timeout and used a three from senior Shannon Ray (Yonkers, N.Y./Ursuline Academy) to extend the edge back to double digits at 35-24. In that stretch, the Skyhawks had two threes from Shannon Brown and one from Mary Louise Dixon to get within eight.
The Skyhawks answered with a three from junior Amy Pelletier, followed by an Assumption layup from Ray and the Hounds led 37-27 with 5:07 left in the half. Over next two a half minutes, the teams combined for six missed shots before three straight points from Faieta got the visitors within 37-30 at the 1:40 mark. After two empty possessions, the Hounds ended the first half with another Ray hoop to take a 39-30 lead into the break.
Senior Tafanie Roye (New Britain, Conn./Capital Prep Magnet) led the Hounds with eight points in the half behind two three-pointers. Ray added seven, along with six each from O'Brien and Ackerman in the balanced scoring attack. The Hounds were also 7-for-9 from distance in the half, en route to 45.7 percent shooting from the field. Stonehill, who was led by 10 points each from Brown and Faieta, shot 36.7 percent from the field and hit five three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
Both teams came out cold over the opening five minutes of the second half, but it was the Skyhawks that chipped away at the lead. A 7-0 run over the first 5:17, capped by a three-pointer from Jamie Panton, pulled the visitors to within just two at 39-37. The teams were within one possession for the next three minutes before a critical three-point play from Ackerman at the 11:17 mark extended the Hound lead back out to six at 46-40. Stonehill eventually closed to within one possession again at 53-50 with 8:11 left after a three from Paige Marshall, but the Hounds answered with a 10-2 run over just 3:54 to put the game into double figures at 63-52.
Assumption led by as many as 14 twice over the final four minutes before a Dixon three in the final seconds of the game accounted for the eight-point final.
Ray led the Hounds with a near double-double with 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds as four Assumption players finished in double figures. Ackerman added 15 points and a team-high four assists, while sophomore Kelly Conley (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) and Roye each added 10. Assumption got outrebounded by a slim 39-35 margin in the game, but shot 64.3 percent from three as they knocked down 9-of-14 attempts. The Hounds also outscored the Skyhawks by a 20-6 margin at the free throw line, hitting 20-of-24.
Dixon paced four Skyhawks in double figures with 16 points and nearly posted a triple-double as she added eight rebounds and 10 assists. Stonehill knocked down 11 three-pointers in the game, with seven different players hitting from deep. Assumption held a slight 42.4-40.9 percent shooting edge from the field in the game.
With the win, Assumption improves to 13-9 overall and 9-8 in Northeast-10 play, while Stonehill drops to 15-6 overall and 12-5 in the league as their five-game winning streak was snapped.
Assumption is back in action on Saturday, February 15th as the Hounds host Merrimack for a 1:30 p.m. start at Laska Gym.
For the latest on Assumption College Athletics, follow the Hounds via social media on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. For more information, contact the Office of Athletic Communications at 508-767-7240.