MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) poured in a career-high 23 points to lead the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team to Saturday evening's 80-73 come-from-behind victory against the University of Long Island-LIU Post at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks begin the season 2-0 for the fourth straight year, while the Pioneers, who were 64-58 victors against Saint Anselm's crosstown rival, Southern New Hampshire University, Friday evening, drop to 1-1.
Jones shot 4 of 10 from the floor and went 15 of 16 at the stripe, in addition to pulling down seven rebounds. The 15 made free throws are a personal best for Jones and are the third most in a single game in program history. Senior Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) narrowly missed a double-double for the second straight night as she registered 14 points (5-11 FG; 4-6 FT) and nine rebounds in just 19 minutes. Freshman Candace Andrews (Boston, Mass.) continued to impress with 12 points (6-15 FG), five assists, five rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Senior Meg Morrissey (So. Kingstown, R.I.) was also in double figures with 11 points (2-5 FG; 7-8 FT) to go along with four assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds.
Saint Anselm trailed 10-5 just over four minutes in when seven free throws from Jones helped fuel a 9-2 run that gave the Hawks their first lead of the afternoon at 14-12 with 11:31 to play in the opening half.
LIU's deficit was four when a 12-0 run – highlighted by seven points from Chelsea Williams – put the Pioneers ahead, 36-28, with 4:21 remaining. Layups from Jones, senior Ashley Viselli (Groveland, Mass.) and Andrews sliced the deficit to a pair, but a trey from Williams with under a minute to play increased the LIU lead to five and the Pioneers would head into the locker room with a 45-40 lead.
Jones had 17 at the half, while Williams dropped in 21.
A pair of layups from Nijah LaCourt right out of the gate gave LIU Post its largest lead of the contest at 49-40 with 18:16 on the clock, but an 8-0 Saint Anselm run – bookended by a pair of Andrews layups – trimmed the deficit to just one at 16:24.
The Hawks would force four ties over the next 5:35 and finally grabbed the lead when senior Mariah Wynn (Boston, Mass.) knocked down a jumper to make it 62-61 with 7:29 to play.
Two lead changes and three ties later, the game was knotted at 67-all, but Saint Anselm responded with another 9-2 stretch that was kicked off and capped with a Lehr basket to push the lead to 76-69 with 1:44 on the clock. The Hawks would bump the lead as high as eight and the Pioneers would close it to as little as five, but a pair of Morrissey free throws closed the scoring with 20 seconds to go.
Senior Kierra Moore (Albany, N.Y.) chipped in eight points on 4 of 6 shooting from the floor and also corralled three rebounds. Wynn and Viselli each added four points and a pair of boards.
Saint Anselm outshot LIU Post, 47.2 percent (25-53) to 35.3 percent (24-68), including 50 percent (13-26) to 26.3 percent (10-38) in the second stanza. Rebounds and turnovers were even at 40 and 16 apiece, respectively, while the Hawks held a slight edge in the paint (38-32).
Williams led the Pioneers with 29 points and six rebounds.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. when they open Northeast-10 play against Bentley University at Stoutenburgh. 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 and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.