ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Saint Anselm College women's basketball team improved to 10-2 on the season, handing the Redhawks from Roberts Wesleyan College a 74-62 loss on Saturday.
The Hawks have won 10 of their first 12 games on the year and return to New England with a 2-0 record in its Western New York road trip. Roberts Wesleyan drops to 4-9 on the campaign.
Junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) scored 17 points, recording her ninth double-double of the year with 11 rebounds to her credit. She entered play ranked fourth in NCAA Division II with double-doubles. Sophomore Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) scored 12 points and senior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) had 11 points and eight rebounds, narrowly missing the double-double.
Sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) matched Guachione and Messler with three assists. Steinman crossed the 100-career assist threshold, reaching that milestone in only 41 games.
Ahead by two points, the Hawks pulled away in the first quarter with a three-point basket by Guachione. Daly added two triples before the opening stanza was over, including one with four seconds left, to boost the visitors to a 23-17 advantage. Briggs opened the second quarter with a three, boosting the Hawks edge to 26-17.
Messler punctuated the first half with a layup as time expired, putting Saint Anselm ahead by a 38-27 lead. The Hawks led by as many as 12 points, 34-22, with 1:20 to go in the first half.
Roberts Wesleyan came out of the break with some potent offense, cutting the Hawks lead to 42-36, but Ryan and junior Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.) combined for six-straight points under the basket to extend the lead once again.
The fourth quarter is where the Hawks were able to stave off the final offensive charge by Roberts Wesleyan. With a precarious lead, 52-50, with 7:57 to go in regulation time, Saint Anselm had a clutch three-pointer from senior Ashley Briggs (Scarborough, Maine), who had a key offensive rebound earlier in the sequence.
A nine-point scoring span by the Hawks would recreate a double-digit lead with under four minutes left in regulation time. Saint Anselm shot only 25% (3-for-12) from the floor in the fourth quarter, but made 15-of-17 free throws in the final 10 minutes to lock down the victory.
Tashayla Sutorius led Roberts Wesleyan with 16 points.
Saint Anselm opens its 2019 home calendar with a 5:30 p.m. tilt against New Haven on Wednesday, Jan. 9.