Defense Not Enough in Women’s Basketball’s 63-54 Loss at Saint Rose

ALBANY, N.Y. – Junior Ashley Viselli (Groveland, Mass.) scored a career-high 12 points, but the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team dropped Wednesday evening's 63-54 decision to the College of Saint Rose at Nolan Gymnasium.

The Hawks fall to 4-8 on the season, including 1-7 in Northeast-10 play, while the Golden Knights improve to 5-7, 2-6 NE-10.

Viselli shot 4-for-8 from the field, including a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, and 2-for-2 at the stripe, while making three steals and pulling down a pair of rebounds. Junior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) was also in double figures with 10 points on 3 of 9 shooting from the floor and 4 of 4 shooting at the line, while handing out three assists.

Saint Rose led by three on three different occasions early on, including 12-9 with less than 10 minutes to play in the opening half, but baskets by Viselli and sophomore Allie Jones (So. Kingstown, R.I.) put Saint Anselm on top, 13-12, with 8:36 remaining.

The Golden Knights responded by reeling off 10 straight points, including four each from Jessica Walton and Gabie Polce, to grab a 22-13 advantage with 5:41 to go. After the teams traded baskets, buckets from senior Curran Leighton (Dover, N.H.) and junior Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) trimmed the Saint Anselm deficit to five at 24-19 at the 4:11 mark.

The teams traded scores once more when junior Meg Morrissey (So. Kingstown, R.I.) knocked down a pair of free throws to pull the Hawks within three at 26-23 with 2:23 left. Polce dropped in a layup to widen the gap to five, but a 3-pointer from freshman Krista O'Gara (New Fairfield, Conn.) and another Lehr jumper knotted the game at 28-all with just over a minute remaining.

Polce responded once more, this time with a layup that put Saint Rose back on top with a minute on the clock. Kelsey Glanzman pushed the lead to four with a layup of her own with 24 ticks left before Viselli dropped in a layup with seven seconds to play that sent the Hawks into the locker room trailing by just two, 32-30.

Freshman Alexius Hampton (Charlotte, N.C.) sank a 3 just 19 seconds into the second half to put the Hawks back in front, 33-32. The lead was still one nearly four minutes later when Viselli drilled a 3 that expanded the Saint Anselm lead to 39-35. Saint Rose responded with another big stretch – a 15-2 run that featured six points apiece from Nicole Bini and Mariah Lesure and put the home team up 50-41 midway through the second half.

After a Lehr jumper, Bini drained back-to-back 3s and the Golden Knights held a 56-43 advantage with 8:12 remaining. The Hawks had whittled the deficit to 11 when Bini's seventh and final 3-pointer of the game gave Saint Rose its largest lead of the night at 61-47 with 4:49 left. The lead was down to 13 less than three minutes later when a pair of Hampton free throws and a layup from freshman Raquel Johnson (Long Beach, Calif.) closed the final gap to nine points.

O'Gara chipped in eight points on 3 of 5 shooting, including 2 of 3 from deep, while Allie Jones added seven points and two assists. Lehr and Hampton netted six and five points, respectively.

Saint Rose outshot Saint Anselm, 46.4 percent (26-56) to 34.5 percent (19-55), including 42.3 percent (11-26) to 25 percent (7-28) in the second half. The Hawks held a slight shooting edge from long distance at 41.7 percent (5-12) to 40 percent (8-20). The Golden Knights owned a 44-21 advantage on the glass, including 14-6 on the offensive end. Saint Anselm turned the ball over just nine times, while forcing 21 Saint Rose turnovers and parlayed that into a 23-8 gap in points off turnovers.

Bini poured in a game-high 27 points to lead the Golden Knights.

The Hawks return to action 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).