MANCHESTER, N.H. – Freshman Krista O'Gara (New Fairfield, Conn.) scored nine points and junior Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) posted eight points and nine rebounds, but the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team fell victim to a second-half rally as American International College posted a 57-39 victory Saturday afternoon at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks drop to 4-9 on the season, including 1-8 in Northeast-10 play, while the Yellow Jackets improve to 7-6, 4-5 NE-10.
O'Gara shot 3-for-6, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, while Lehr was 4-for-9 from the floor.
Tied at 10, the Hawks went up seven midway through the opening half when a 3-pointer by O'Gara was followed by a pair of midrange jumpers from Lehr. AIC answered with six to cut its deficit to one at the 8:06 mark, but jumpers from junior Kierra Moore (Albany, N.Y.) and freshman Alexius Hampton (Charlotte, N.C.) gave the Hawks a 21-16 advantage with 7:16 remaining.
The lead was down to three when a Krista Ferrentino free throw and a layup from Erica Johnson knotted the game at 24-all with 1:46 on the clock. Junior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) then closed the scoring with 51 seconds left with a free throw that sent the Hawks to the locker room with a 25-24 edge.
Sydney Tepley dropped in a layup 55 seconds into the second half to give the Yellow Jackets a 26-25 lead and they would never trail again. After the teams traded baskets, AIC scored nine straight, including four from Ferrentino, to grab a 37-27 lead with 11:56 to go in the game.
A Jones layup stopped the bleeding, but after the teams traded buckets, the Yellow Jackets ripped off a 13-0 run to take a commanding 52-31 lead with 4:42 remaining. Sarah Noble then answered an O'Gara 3-pointer before a pair of free throws from freshman Nancy Stablein (Shelton, Conn.) and one of two at the line from freshman Kayla Papazian (Plymouth, Mass.) trimmed the deficit to 55-37 with 1:15 to play.
After a pair of Johnson free throws, Papazian knocked down a baseline jumper to close the scoring with 26 seconds left.
Moore recorded six points, four steals and two rebounds.
AIC outshot Saint Anselm, 33.3 percent (20-60) to 31.4 percent (16-51), including 36.4 percent (8-22) to 11.8 percent (2-17) from distance and 40.7 percent (11-27) to 20.8 percent (5-24) in the second half. The Yellow Jackets held a 41-39 edge on the glass, while points in the paint were even at 20. AIC turned the ball over 15 times and forced 22 Hawk turnovers.
Noble led the Yellow Jackets with 13 points, while Tepley recorded 10 points and 12 boards.
The Hawks return to action Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. when they play host to Pace University 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).