MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) of the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team recorded her 12th double-double of the season in Saturday's 72-67 victory over the Yellow Jackets from American International College.
The Hawks improve to 13-3 overall on the season, equaling their best start since the 1996-97 campaign. Saint Anselm has won eight of its 11 games in the Northeast-10 Conference to date while the Yellow Jackets, owners of a 9-9 overall mark, fall to 4-6 in the league after losing their fifth-straight game to the Hawks.
Since joining Saint Anselm before last season, Head Coach Corey Boilard owns a 30-15 record on the Hilltop. The Hawks, ranked within the East Region by the D2SIDA Regional Media Poll, head into Wednesday's home contest with Pace having won five of their last six contests. The tip is slated for 5:30 p.m.
Ryan scored 20 points and chipped in with 14 rebounds. Senior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) tallied 19 points, eclipsing 400 points for her career, with sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) striking for 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Freshman Eva Mazur (South Portland, Maine) notched a career-high 10 points in her first collegiate start, making all four shots from the floor, including two "three's".
Down by a 12-11 margin with 3:32 in the first period to go, the Hawks rattled off a 13-2 scoring run that created a 24-14 advantage for the hosts with 7:25 left in the first half. In that stretch, Messler had three layups with Ryan adding three points.
The Yellow Jackets rebounded to score 17 of the game's next 27 points, cutting the Hawks lead to three points heading into the locker room. The Hawks took advantage of 10 first-half miscues by American International, but the Yellow Jackets bombed four three-point baskets in the opening 20 minutes to reduce their deficit.
A 10-3 scoring stretch by Saint Anselm re-established a 10-point lead with 6:48 to go in the third quarter, but American International stunned the Hawks with 13-straight points to capture a 47-44 lead with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks would once again own a double-digit scoring advantage, rattling off 18 of the game's next 23 points to lock down the win. In that span, a key 9-0 run near the midpoint of the fourth quarter was what built up the insurance in the waning minutes.
The Yellow Jackets would not go away quietly, shrinking the Saint Anselm lead to three points, 67-64, but Ryan answered within 21 seconds with a jumper in the paint. On the next possession, Messler picked up a steal and then went to the line and created a double-digit lead, making a free throw with 23 seconds left to create an insurmountable two-possession hole.
Alyssa Guyon notched 22 points with Rashana Siders trailing with 21 for the Yellow Jackets.