MANCHESTER, N.H. – Junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) of the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team was the latest member of the Hilltop's 1,000 career point scoring club, reaching that milestone in Saturday's convincing victory over Saint Michael's College.
The Hawks, who won by an 86-49 score, improve to 18-7 overall on the season and to 13-7 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Saint Anselm will cap the regular season on Tuesday at Stonehill in a battle for sole possession of second place in the league's Northeast Division. A win over the Skyhawks would earn the division's second seed and an NE10 Quarterfinals home game.
Saint Michael's falls to 11-14 overall and to 7-13 against league foes. The Purple Knights were within 15 points of the Hawks late in the third quarter, but Saint Anselm scored 26-straight points to build its lead to a game-high 41 points with 4:07 left in regulation time to put the game out of reach.
Ryan finished the game with 22 points, giving her 1,007 across a 58-game career that began as a freshman at Boston College in 2016-17. During her time on the Hilltop, Ryan has averaged 18.6 points per game to rank second all-time in team history and she is in the midst of a career season, posting nearly 19 points and 12.1 rebounds per contest.
She is only the 19th member of the institution's 1,000 career point club and the first to crack that plateau since Candace Andrews '17. Only nine student-athletes, including Ryan, have posted at least 1,000 career points and 600 rebounds in a Saint Anselm uniform dating back to the team's inception in 1976.
Ryan also recorded a double-double, hauling in 10 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season. Sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) posted 11 points to rank second on the squad with seniors Emma Daly (Pearl River, N.Y.) and Ashley Briggs (Scarborough, Maine) registering nine points apiece. Senior Michaela Martin (Haverhill, Mass.) had six points with as many rebounds.
The Hawks dished out 25 assists in the game, led by sophomore Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Briggs who each recorded six helpers. Freshman Eva Mazur (South Portland, Maine) had five rebounds and four assists off the bench and junior Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.) had eight points in only 12 minutes, throwing up two blocks.
Nicole Ladas put Saint Michael's out in front, 13-12, with 3:50 to go in the first quarter, but the Hawks went ahead for good with a jumper by Briggs only 15 seconds later. Saint Michael's would keep the game close in the waning minutes of the first half, shrinking the Hawks lead to three points with 2:45 left in the second quarter.
Junior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.), Briggs and Ryan combined for six points in the final 2:04 of the first half, building up a halftime lead of 39-30. The lead would grow to double digits for the first time with a Ryan layup to open the second half. Out of the locker room, Saint Anselm built a 19-point lead with 4:19 left in the third quarter as Ryan had nine of her team's 14 points in that span.
It was the huge 26-point scoring run by the Hawks that ended any chance of a Saint Michael's comeback. In the fourth quarter alone, Saint Anselm was 9-for-14 from the floor, making five three-point baskets, and winning the rebounding battle, 12-to-5.
Saint Anselm finished with the 44-to-20 edge in paint scoring, putting home 15 second-chance points. The Hawks also poured home 10 three-point baskets, the most in one game since Jan. 23, 2018 against Saint Rose. Saint Anselm reserves also delivered 29 points in the contest, the biggest contribution by the bench since the earlier season match-up against Saint Michael's (35 points).
The Hawks also honored their three senior student-athletes, Daly, Briggs and Martin, with a pre-game ceremony. The trio has helped Saint Anselm to a 72-39 record since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, a winning percentage of nearly 65%.