COLCHESTER, Vt. – Junior Kierra Moore (Albany, N.Y.) scored 10 points off the bench, including a layup with 1.2 seconds on the clock in regulation to lift the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team to a 58-56 victory against Saint Michael's College on Thursday evening at Ross Sports Center.
The Hawks erased a 10-point second-half deficit to snap a three-game skid that improved them to 4-5 on the season, including 1-5 in Northeast-10 play. The Purple Knights drop to 1-7, 0-6 NE-10.
Moore shot 4 of 8 from the field, including 2 of 5 from beyond the arc, and racked up a career-best five steals. Sophomore Allie Jones (So. Kingstown, R.I.) led the way for the Hawks with 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting from the floor and a perfect 5 of 5 shooting at the line. She also pulled down five rebounds, handed out four assists and blocked a pair of shots. Junior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) was also in double figures for the Hawks with 11 points to go along with five boards.
Trailing 43-36 with 6:24 to play in the contest, the Hawks reeled off an 11-2 run to seize a 46-45 lead with 4:11 remaining. Senior Curran Leighton (Dover, N.H.) sparked the run with a 3-pointer before a three-point play from Allie Jones after a Leighton steal made it a one-point game with 5:38 left.
Following a pair of free throws from Makenzie Burud that nudged the Saint Michael's lead back to three, Leighton sliced it to one with a layup and Moore drilled a huge 3 to cap the run and put the Hawks on top for the first time since 4:53 into the game. Moore answered the bell again, knocking down another triple after a Nicole Adach layup to give the visitors a 50-47 advantage with 3:16 to go.
The teams twice traded sets of free throws until Burud hit a jumper to pull the Purple Knights within one at 54-53 with 1:31 on the clock. On the ensuing Saint Michael's possession, Megan Gaudreau splashed a 3 and the hosts recaptured the lead at 56-54 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Hawks knotted the game with 36.0 seconds left when Briana Jones converted a layup. After they called timeout, the Hawks forced a Saint Michael's turnover with five seconds left and called another timeout. Moore then dropped in her game-winning basket with 1.2 seconds on the clock and Saint Anselm escaped with its first conference win.
Leighton posted seven points, five rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal off the bench.
Saint Michael's jumped out to a 3-0 lead before baskets by Leighton and freshman Raquel Johnson (Long Beach, Calif.) gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead with 15:07 remaining in the opening half. Adach then made a pair of free throws 25 seconds later and Saint Anselm would not lead again for the next 30:30.
The game was tied at eight at the 11:49 mark when the Purple Knights reeled off seven straight to grab a 15-8 lead with 8:45 to go in the half. A 3 from freshman Alexius Hampton (Charlotte, N.H.) and a layup by Briana Jones off a feed from Hampton trimmed the Saint Anselm deficit to a pair at 15-13 with 7:16 to play. It was a three-point game with 32 seconds left when Briana Jones sank a pair at the stripe to close the scoring and send the Hawks into the locker room trailing by just one at 19-18.
After the teams traded baskets to begin the second half, three straight Adach baskets pushed the Saint Michael's lead to seven at 27-20 with 14:44 remaining. The lead was still seven nearly three minutes later when a Kaitlin Geary trey gave the Purple Knights their largest lead of the night at 34-24 with 11:53 left.
Five straight points from junior Ashley Viselli (Groveland, Mass.) sliced the Saint Anselm deficit in half with 10:45 on the clock. After a Kayla Carnell basket stopped the short run, Viselli nailed a 3 and the Hawks were within four at 36-32 with 10:01 to play.
The lead was still four when Adach converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give Saint Michael's what seemed to be a sturdy 43-36 advantage with 6:24 left. Just 13 seconds later Leighton hit her 3 to spark the 11-2 run that turned the game around.
Viselli chipped in eight points on 3 of 5 shooting, including 1 of 3 from deep, and added two rebounds, two steals and an assist in 19 minutes.
The Hawks outshot the Purple Knights, 39.3 percent (22-56) to 37.5 percent (18-48), but were outshot 33.3 percent (6-18) to 29.4 percent (5-17) from long range. Saint Michael's held a slight 33-32 edge on the glass, but was outscored in the paint by a 30-16 margin. Saint Anselm turned the ball over 16 times – half as many as in its game Tuesday against UMass Lowell – and forced 19 Saint Michael's turnovers.
Adach led the Purple Knights with a game-high 22 points.
The Hawks return to action Saturday, Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. when they take on Dowling College on the campus of LIU Post in Brookville, N.Y. The next home game for the Hawks is Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m. when they play host to American International College at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and following us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks).