MANCHESTER, N.H. – Candace Andrews buried the go ahead jumper with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to lead the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team to a 54-53 victory over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference action on Wednesday night in Manchester, N.H.
The Hawks have now won four-straight to improve to 12-6 overall and 7-5 in the NE10, while AIC drops to 12-7 and 7-4 in league games. Saint Anselm enjoys some time off, as their next game is not until Tuesday, Jan. 24 when they travel to Adelphi for a 5:30 p.m. game.
Andrews ended the game with 18 points, four rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Caitlyn Abela joined her in double-figures with 13 points and six rebounds, while Erin Waters had nine points and eight rebounds off the bench.
The Yellow Jackets were paced by 17 points from Alyssa Guyon, while Dana Watts posted a double-double of 14 points and 19 rebounds.
The first quarter of the game was all American International as the Yellow Jackets held the Hawks to 18.2% (2-of-11) shooting in the frame to grab a 16-4 lead after the first period. Dana Watts posted eight points and eight rebounds in the frame, while Imani Stepney added four points for the Yellow Jackets.
AIC controlled play early in the second quarter as a layup from Alyssa Guyon at the 6:29 mark gave the visitors their largest lead of the game at 24-8. Saint Anselm started its comeback as Candace Andrews scored on the fast break off a feed from Caitlyn Abela, and Andrews returned the favor on the next possession when she found Abela for a triple that trimmed the deficit to 24-13 with 4:49 remaining. The duo hooked up again the next time down the floor as an Andrews layup made it a 24-15 game.
Erin Waters pulled the Hawks to within 24-20 with a personal 5-0 run as the game entered the final minute of play. AIC would score the final points of the period as Guyon hit a pair of free throws to make it a 26-20 game headed into halftime.
The Hawks continued to chip away, and Kaila Duarte sandwiched layups around an Abela three-pointer to tie the game at 35-35 with four minutes to play in the third quarter. Emma Daly converted a three-point play to give the Hawks their first lead of the game at 38-35, but AIC fought their way back as a Jayda Gilmore triple tied the game at 42-42 in the closing seconds of the period.
Saint Anselm quickly inbounded the ball to Andrews and she raced up the floor, finding Erin Waters who had gotten out ahead, and the junior laid in a reverse layup before time expired to give the Hawks a 44-42 lead after three quarters.
AIC took back momentum to open the fourth quarter as a jumper from Watts put the Yellow Jackets in front 48-44 with 7:55 remaining. Andrews cut the deficit in half with a jumper, but Rashana Siders answered with a three to give AIC a 51-46 lead with 3:53 remaining. The Hawks worked the ball inside to Abela to make it a 51-48 game and an Andrews jumper with 1:32 to play cut the deficit to 51-50. After a stop on defense, the Hawks came back on offense and Andrews used a screen from Duarte to work free and hit a pull-up 18-footer to give Saint Anselm a 52-51 lead and 42 seconds remaining.
The two teams traded turnovers with back-to-back five-second violations, and AIC took the lead back with 29 seconds to play as Guyon hit a turnaround lefty hook to put the Yellow Jackets ahead 53-52.
Saint Anselm did not call timeout, and instead the Hawks came up the floor and set up the same play that they had used earlier to take the lead. Andrews dribbled to her right, before using a Duarte screen to go back to her left, creating just enough space for a step-back jumper that found the bottom of the net with 4.2 seconds to play.
AIC inbounded the ball quickly, and Jayda Gilmore got off a runner from 14-feet out, but the shot fell short, and the Hawks pulled out the 54-53 come-from-behind victory.
Saint Anselm shot 38.7% (24-of-62) from the floor, 26.7% (4-of-15) from three and only hit 2-of-5 free throws on the night. AIC shot 37.1% (23-of-62) from the field, 21.4% (3-of-14) from three and connected on 4-of-8 free throws. The Yellow Jackets held a slight 40-39 edge in rebounds, while the Hawks won the turnover battle, 13-15.
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