SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Freshman Candace Andrews (Boston, Mass.) notched a career-high 24 points, but the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team suffered a 72-59 defeat against American International College on Saturday afternoon at Butova Gymnasium.
The Hawks lose their third straight to drop to 10-10 on the season, including 6-9 in Northeast-10 play, while the Yellow Jackets win for the third time in four games to jump to 13-7, 7-7 NE-10.
Andrews knocked down a career-best nine field goals on 13 attempts, made both her 3-point attempts and went 4-for-6 at the line, to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Senior Allie Jones (So. Kingstown, R.I.) was also in double figures for the Hawks with 11 points (4-5 FG; 3-4 FT).
Brianna Bishop paced the Yellow Jackets with a game-high 31 points (11-18 FG; 6-11 3-FG; 3-4 FT), including 17 in the second half.
Saint Anselm led 9-7 just over three minutes in when six straight points pushed the lead to eight with 15:32 remaining in the opening frame. After AIC had whittled its deficit to four, a layup from senior Brianna Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) and a big 3-pointer from classmate Kierra Moore (Albany, N.Y.) gave the Hawks their largest lead of the day at 22-13 with 12:23 left.
A Bishop trey would spark a 5-0 run that pulled the Yellow Jackets within four at 28-24 with 7:59 to play, but Saint Anselm would push its lead right back to eight and then an Andrews 3-pointer with 32 seconds on the clock closed the first-half scoring and sent the visitors into the locker room with a 40-31 advantage.
The margin would fluctuate between eight and four over the first six-plus minutes of the second half until a 19-2 AIC run – with 10 points from Bishop – opened up a 60-51 lead for the hosts with 6:03 to play. Free throws from Bishop at the 11:42 mark tied the game and then gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good.
A three-point play from Andrews stopped the bleeding and cut the deficit to six, but the Hawks could not close the gap more than that before AIC ended the game on a 7-0 run.
Senior Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) narrowly missed the double-double with nine points (4-12 FG; 1-2 FT), 11 rebounds and four assists. Brianna Jones posted nine points (3-10 FG; 3-4 FT), six boards and two steals, while Moore chipped in six points (2-6 FG; 2-4 3-FG). Senior Meg Morrissey (So. Kingstown, R.I.) tallied six assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals.
AIC outshot Saint Anselm, 45.1 percent (23-51) to 43.1 percent (22-51), including 46.2 percent (12-26) to 29.2 percent (7-24) in the second half. The Yellow Jackets also held a 52.9 percent (9-17) to 44.4 percent (4-9) advantage from beyond the arc. The Hawks won the glass (34-31) and the paint (26-18), while AIC produced a slightly better assist-to-turnover ratio (17/12-16/14).
The Hawks return to action Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. when they play host to crosstown rival Southern New Hampshire 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 and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.