Women’s Hoop Brushes Off Meager First Half for 64-60 Win at Saint Michael’s

COLCHESTER, Vt. – Freshman Candace Andrews (Boston, Mass.) scored 17 points and senior Tori Lehr (Cohasset, Mass.) shook off a tough first half to finish with 12 points and 12 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season as the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team erased a 13-point first-half deficit to earn a 64-60 victory against Saint Michael's College on Tuesday evening at the Ross Sports Center.

The Hawks win back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 1 and 4 (the Dec. 4 win was a 79-66 home win against Saint Michael's) to improve to 12-10 on the season, including 8-9 in Northeast-10 play. The Purple Knights, who have lost 14 of 15, including 10 straight, sink to 3-18, 2-15 NE-10.

Andrews shot 7 of 16 from the floor, including 1 of 3 from deep, and 2 of 5 at the line, to go along with five steals and four assists. Lehr, following an uncharacteristic 0-for-7 first half, went 4-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from the stripe as she netted 11 of her 12 points in the second frame. Senior Allie Jones (So. Kingstown, R.I.) was terrific in the second stanza as she made 5 of her 7 shots from the field and 1 of 2 at the line to score 11 of her 12 points, in addition to pulling down six boards and making two steals. Classmate Briana Jones (White Plains, N.Y.) was also in double figures with 13 points (4-11 FG; 5-7 FT) and seven rebounds.

Indira Evora paced Saint Michael's with a game-high 18 points.

With the game tied at two early on, a 7-1 spurt from Saint Michael's – with the final five coming from Evora – opened up a 9-3 lead for the hosts just 4:25 into the contest. After Saint Anselm closed the gap to 11-7 just over three minutes later, the Purple Knights responded with a balanced 12-3 run that featured six different scorers and stretched the lead to 23-10 with 4:33 to go.

Following a free throw from Briana Jones that stopped the bleeding, Andrews reeled off eight straight points to slice the Saint Anselm deficit to 23-19 with under two minutes to play. Layups from Alexa Long and Makenzie Burud, however, sent the Purple Knights into the break with a 27-19 advantage.

Layups from Lehr and Jones to begin the second half cut the Saint Anselm deficit to four, but the Purple Knights had run the lead back to seven when an 8-2 run from the Hawks pulled them within one at 32-31 with 15:55 remaining.

The teams would then trade scores twice before Saint Michael's put some distance between themselves and the Hawks with a 40-35 advantage with 13:10 on the clock. Saint Anselm responded with an 11-1 stretch that featured seven points from Andrews and gave them a 46-40 lead with 9:14 to play. An Allie Jones layup with 10:00 on the clock gave the Hawks their first lead of the night at 41-40 and Saint Michael's would never lead again.

Saint Anselm would run its lead to a game-high 50-42 with 6:23 left, but a 9-1 run – with six points from Evora – knotted the game at 51 with 3:17 to play. The Hawks answered with two free throws from Lehr and a three-point play from Allie Jones that made it 56-51 with 1:51 to go.

Saint Michael's would twice cut its deficit to one, but the Hawks went 4-for-4 from the line in the final 14 seconds to give them four of the game's final five points and seal the win.

Senior Meg Morrissey (So. Kingstown, R.I.) tallied eight points (2-6 FG; 1-2 3-FG; 3-4 FT), five rebounds and four assists.

Saint Michael's outshot Saint Anselm, 42.9 percent (24-56) to 38.3 percent (23-60), while neither team shot it well from deep as the Hawks were 2-for-8 (25%) and the Purple Knights were 2-for-16 (12.5%). Saint Anselm held a 53.3 percent (16-30) to 42.3 percent (11-26) advantage in second-half shooting. The Hawks turned it over 15 times, but just four times in the second half, while forcing 20 Saint Michael's mistakes for a 21-13 margin in points off turnovers. They also won the glass, 40-34, including 15-9 on the offensive end, with the Purple Knights holding a slight edge in the paint, 40-38.

The Hawks return to action Saturday, Feb. 15 at 1:30 p.m. when they play host Franklin Pierce 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.