BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College women's basketball picked up a convincing 93-68 victory over the host Purple Knights from the University of Bridgeport on Sunday in the Bridgeport Women's Basketball Classic.
The Hawks, ranked as high as ninth in NCAA Division II by D2SIDA, improve to 2-0 on the year and will open Northeast-10 Conference play on Wednesday, Nov. 13 against Saint Michael's at 5:30 p.m. Bridgeport drops to 0-2 on the year following the non-league loss.
Saint Anselm posted 93 points in the victory with 28 of those points coming at the free throw line. Senior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) notched a double-double with 28 points and 14 rebounds, shooting 10-for-19 from the floor. Junior Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) tacked on a career-high 25 points with seven rebounds and five assists for Saint Anselm in the winning effort.
Junior Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) had 18 points, posting seven rebounds with five assists and three steals while Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) filled the stat sheet with nine points and seven rebounds. The Hawks finished with a 28-for-35 mark (80.0%) from the free throw line and won the board battle, picking up 54 of the game's 77 rebounds.
The teams went back and forth in the first quarter as the game was tied on six occasions with several lead changes. Messler posted the first points of the second stanza and the Hawks never looked back, posting a 17-5 scoring run across the first five-plus minutes of the quarter to create a 36-24 advantage for the visitors.
From the start of the second quarter onward, the Hawks scored 36 of the game's next 52 points to capture a lead of 21 points, 55-34, with 8:25 left in the third quarter. Bridgeport would attempt to come back, but Saint Anselm did not allow the Purple Knights to reduce its deficit to a smaller figure than 17 points.
The Hawks committed 20 turnovers in the game, but scored 13 points off of 10 turnovers by Bridgeport. Saint Anselm also tallied 20 second-chance points and led for over 31 minutes of game play to cruise to the victory.
Bridgeport was led by three student-athletes with 10 points.