MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's basketball team lost its home opener to Stonehill College, 74-65, on Tuesday night in Northeast-10 Conference action at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks fall to 4-1 overall and 2-1 against NE10 opponents while the Skyhawks, who rank 22nd in NCAA Division II according to the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association National Poll, improve to 4-1 and 2-1 in league play.
Junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) led Saint Anselm with a double-double, producing a team-high 17 points while pulling down 12 rebounds. Sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) had 13 points and a pair of steals, reaching exactly 250 career points in the victory, while classmate Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) finished the night with nine points, six steals, six rebounds, and four assists. The six steals for Guachione were a career-high mark and the most by a Saint Anselm student-athlete since Candace Andrews '17 had six takeaways at home against Bentley on Nov. 30, 2016.
The visitors pulled ahead 6-0 in the first 1:48 of the game before Guachione stopped the bleeding for the Hawks with a layup seven seconds later. A three-pointer for Stonehill put them ahead by seven but Steinman cut into the lead with the three-point play to make it 9-5 in favor of the Skyhawks. The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes but the closest Saint Anselm got was three with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter as the Skyhawks had a 19-16 edge after 10 minutes of play.
After a pair of three-pointers gave Stonehill a 25-18 lead just under the eight-minute mark of the second quarter, Ryan made it a five-point deficit with a layup in the paint with seven minutes to go in the half. The Hawks surged back to tie things up at 25 before taking their first lead of the game with 4:02 left in the second quarter on a pair of free throws by junior Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.). Both teams traded the lead over the next couple minutes with the Skyhawks taking 32-29 lead on a long range shot by Emily Bramanti with 3:13 left in the half. Junior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) knotted the game up with 1:39 to play but Stonehill ended the half with a 35-34 edge on a triple with seven seconds left on the second half clock.
The Hawks took a 40-39 lead in the first 3:31 of the first half before Stonehill took a 41-40 lead on a jumper by Gabrielle Reuter. It was a back-and-forth affair over the next several minutes before the Skyhawks went on a 4-0 run to build a 48-43 advantage with 2:17 left in the third. Saint Anselm brought it within two points but the Stonehill closed out the third quarter with a 53-47 lead.
That would be the closest the Hawks would get for the remainder of the game as Stonehill built its largest lead of the night with 6:23 remaining in the game ahead 61-49, forcing a timeout by Saint Anselm. The Hawks pulled within seven with 4:47 left to play but the Skyhawks were able to hold on and maintain a nine-point lead. The Hawks cut it to seven on a layup and free throw by Steinman with 2:06 left but that would be the closest gap for the rest of the game.
The Hawks shot 33.8 percent from the field while Stonehill was 24-for-48 for a 50-percent conversion rate, including 9-20 from three-point range. The Skyhawks had the 42-39 edge in rebounds but the Hawks scored 23 points off of 24 Stonehill turnovers.
Saint Anselm returns to action against Mercy College on Sunday, Nov. 25 in a non-conference tilt from Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. against the Mavericks.