Southern Connecticut Outlasts Women’s Basketball, 89-79, in OT

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Seniors Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) and Allie Jones (So. Kingstown, R.I.) each recorded a double-double, but the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team fell to Southern Connecticut State University, 89-79, in overtime Tuesday evening at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.

The Hawks dip to 9-7 on the season, including 5-6 in Northeast-10 play, while the Owls improve to 7-8, 3-6 NE-10.

Lehr led five Hawks in double figures with 21 points (10-21 FG; 1-1 FT) and pulled down 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. She also recorded two assists and a pair of steals. Jones notched the third double-double of her career and first of the season with 13 points (4-7 FG; 5-6 FT) and a career-best 15 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive end. She filled the rest of the box score with six assists, a block and a steal.

Senior Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) scored 15 points (6-18 FG; 3-3 FT), collected six rebounds and handed out three assists, while classmate Meg Morrissey (So. Kingstown, R.I.) tallied 11 points (5-10 FG; 1-1 FT), six steals and five rebounds. Freshman Candace Andrews (Boston, Mass.) chipped in 10 points (5-16 FG).

Taylor McLaughlin led the Owls with 21 points and nine boards, while Mariah Hankton and Keshia Primo netted 19 and 17, respectively.

Saint Anselm opened the game on a balanced 14-4 run that featured five points from Briana Jones, four from Allie Jones and three from Lehr and spanned the first 3:10. Southern Connecticut responded with a 16-4 counter run that saw five points from Primo, and four each from Hankton and McLauglin, to give the Owls their first lead of the night at 20-18 with 11:13 remaining in the opening half.

The game then produced five ties until a 7-0 spurt from the Owls put them ahead, 35-30, with 4:21 left. Baskets from Allie Jones and Lehr trimmed the Saint Anselm deficit to one, but five straight points from Southern Connecticut ran its lead back to six with 1:55 left. The teams went into the break with the Owls leading, 45-40.

Southern Connecticut led 49-42 over two minutes into the second half when consecutive buckets from Bri Jones, followed by an Allie Jones layup, sliced the Saint Anselm deficit to just one at 49-48 with 17:04 to play.

The Owls would widen the gap to five nearly three minutes later, but senior Kierra Moore (Albany, N.Y.) knocked down a 3-pointer that sparked a 9-0 run – with five points from Moore and four from Andrews – which put the Hawks back in front, 59-55, midway through the second stanza.

With the margin still four later in the half, a three-point play from Morrissey nudged the lead to 66-59 with 6:27 left, but a 9-2 run from the Owls – with five points from Maria Weselyj and four from McLaughlin – knotted the game at 68-all with 1:58 on the clock.

 McLaughlin answered a Lehr layup with a basket that kept the game tied at 70 with 48 seconds left and after Morrissey's driving layup gave the Hawks the lead, Primo equaled it with one of her own with less than six seconds to play. The Hawks inbounded the ball the length of the court and Moore had a good look as time expired, but her pull-up jumper from the left elbow wouldn't fall and the game headed to overtime.

Allie Jones made one of two free throws to open the extra session, but McLaughlin dropped in a layup to make it 74-73 24 seconds in and the Hawks never led again. The lead was still one with 3:05 to go when a 9-0 run – with six points from Nicole Grossbard – broke the game open at 87-77 with 45 seconds left.

Moore chipped in seven points (3-8 FG; 1-5 3-FG) and four rebounds.

Southern Connecticut outshot Saint Anselm, 50.8 percent (32-63) to 40.5 percent (34-84), including 40 percent (6-15) to 10 percent (1-10) from deep. The Hawks owned the paint, 56-36, and dominated the glass, 48-33, including 28-11 on the offensive end, which they turned into a 21-4 jackpot in second-chance points.

The Hawks return to action Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1:30 p.m. when they travel to take on Pace University. The next home game for the Hawks is Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. when they play host to crosstown-rival Southern New Hampshire 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.