MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's basketball team handed its in-state rival, Franklin Pierce University, a 57-45 loss on Wednesday at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks have won 16 of their first 20 games, improving to 11-4 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Saint Anselm is ranked seventh in the East Region, according to the most recent D2SIDA Women's Basketball East Region Media Poll released this week.
Franklin Pierce (4-16, 2-13 NE10) has now lost seven straight games to the Hawks, who were led by a 19-point, 14-rebound performance from junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.). Sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) continued a torrid offensive stretch, tallying 12 points and eight rebounds – in the last 30 days, she is averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
Saint Anselm notched 11 blocked shots in the game, falling one rejection shy of tying the program record of 12 set at Springfield on Feb. 21, 1990. Seven student-athletes posted blocks for the Hawks, led by Ryan's three and followed by two from junior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) and Steinman.
The Hawks crept out to an 18-9 lead with 6:50 to go in the first half as back-to-back Ryan baskets created the early advantage. Earlier in the game, Saint Anselm led by only one point, 10-9, before rattling off a 20-4 run just before halftime. A late triple by Franklin Pierce slowed the momentum, but the Hawks were ahead by 14 points, 30-16, at the break.
Saint Anselm maintained a lead of 16 points with 1:45 left in the third period after back-to-back layups by junior Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.). A 15-7 scoring spurt by the visitors reduced the hosts lead to nine points, 47-39, with 3:29 left, but Saint Anselm closed the contest on a 10-6 run to maintain a double-digit victory.
Franklin Pierce was led by 15 points and eight rebounds by Izzy Lipinski.
Saint Anselm will put its unblemished road record (9-0) to the test on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Hawks head to North Andover, Mass. for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Warriors from Merrimack College.