AMHERST, N.Y. – All five starters scored in double-figures as the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team picked up its third-straight win with a 77-69 victory at Daemen College on Monday afternoon in Amherst, N.Y.
Caitlyn Abela knocked down 8-of-14 shots, including 6-of-10 three-pointers, to lead Saint Anselm with 23 points. Candace Andrews added 14 points, four rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Clairee Putnam connected on 4-of-6 triples en route to 12 points and five assists. Ali Glennon pulled in a team-high seven rebounds to go with 11 points and four assists, and Kaila Duarte scored 10 points and grabbed six boards of her own.
Daeman was led by 23 points and four steals from Leah McDonell, while Sarah Saba came off the bench and nearly posted a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds.
A Clairee Putnam three-pointer at the 7:44 mark put the Hawks on top 7-3 early in the first quarter before a 6-0 run by Saint Anselm capped by an Emma Daly layup inside gave the Hawks a 13-6 lead with just over five minutes remaining. Nearly three minutes later, Candace Andrews found Erin Waters in transition for a wide open layup that forced a Daemen timeout with the Hawks in front 21-11.
The Wildcats responded by ending the quarter on an 8-0 run to make it a 21-19 game at the end of one period of play.
Both offenses opened the second quarter a little slow until a layup from Sarah Saba tied the game 21-21 with 7:51 to play in the period. Clairee Putnam answered with a three on the other end and Caitlyn Abela scored inside to put the Hawks back on top 26-21.
After Saba connected on another jumper, Abela buried a triple to spark an 8-0 run that included an Andrews jumper and a Putnam three to put the Hawks ahead 37-25 with 4:32 to play. Michaela Martin made it a 10-0 run with a layup before Andrews pushed the lead to 41-25 with a score inside and 3:36 remaining.
Leah McDonell ended the run for Daeman with a steal and score at the 1:02 mark that made it a 41-27 game, but Caitlyn Abela knocked down a three from the corner before the final horn to give the visitors a 44-27 lead headed into the half.
After McDonnell trimmed the lead to 46-32 with a three-point play, Abela and Putnam connected on back-to-back triples to put Saint Anselm back in front 52-32. McDonell and Andrews traded scores inside to keep it a 20-point lead for the Hawks at 54-34, and Glennon later scored inside to make it a 56-37 game with 2:40 to play in the third quarter.
The Hawks eventually built a 21-point lead at 61-40 following a layup by Candace Andrews, and Saint Anselm took a 62-43 advantage into the final quarter of play.
Caitlyn Abela canned another triple early in the fourth stanza to keep Saint Anselm in front 65-45 and she later made it a 67-48 game with a step-back 10-foot jumper with 6:24 remaining. However, Daemen went to its press and answered with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 69-56.
The two teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and Leah McDonell converted a three-point play with 2:32 remaining in regulation to make it a 73-62 game. After another stop by the Wildcats, McDonell knocked down a three to pull Daemen within single digits at 73-65. Kaila Duarte answered with a score inside, but McDonell later stole the ball near midcourt and kept the Wildcats within eight at 75-67.
As the game entered the final minute, Sarah Saba hit a runner in the paint to make it a 75-69 contest with 23 seconds remaining. Daemen stole the ensuing inbound pass, but Saba missed a layup and Glennon was there for the rebound. Glennon knocked down 1-of-2 free throws to give the Hawks some breathing room at 76-69, and the Hawks forced a turnover on the next Daemen possession leading to one more free throw for Abela, which sealed the 77-69 victory for Saint Anselm.
The Hawks shot 54.2% (32-of-59) from the field and 47.6% (10-of-21) from beyond the arc in the victory. Daemen shot 43.5% (27-of-62) from the floor and 43.5% (10-of-23) from three in the game. The Hawks won the rebound battle, 36-32, but committed 15 turnovers to 13 for the Wildcats. Saint Anselm had a size advantage in the game and used it to outscore Daemen, 40-24 in the paint.
Saint Anselm improves to 7-4 overall with the victory and enjoys some time off before hosting NYIT on New Year's Eve in a 1 p.m. game at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
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