MANCHESTER, N.H. – The No. 23 ranked Saint Anselm College women's basketball team suffered a heart-breaking 60-59 setback to Stonehill College on Sunday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium in Manchester, N.H.
Stonehill's Kelsey Shaw rebounded her own miss and scored the go ahead bucket with 6.7 seconds remaining on the clock to help the Skyhawks slip past Saint Anselm. The Hawks had a shot at a game-winner, but Candace Andrew's shot in the closing seconds missed just wide.
Andrews finished the game with a team-high 19 points to go with a pair of rebounds, six assists and five steals. Caitlyn Abela joined her in double-figures with 12 points and six rebounds, while Sara Messler recorded eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.
An Erin Waters layup at the 5:49 mark of the first quarter gave Saint Anselm a 10-6 lead, but Stonehill answered with a 10-0 run to take a 16-10 advantage. The Skyhawks scored seven of the final 11 points in the period to take a 23-14 lead after the first quarter of play.
Stonehill took a 27-16 lead after a Maty Diabate layup, and Courtney Walsh kept it a seven-point lead with a jumper at the 5:47 mark to put the visitors on top 29-22. This time Saint Anselm had the big run as the Hawks ended the half on a 10-0 run, including back-to-back steals and layups from Andrews, to give Saint Anselm a 32-29 lead headed into the break.
Out of the half, the Hawks opened with a 9-4 run as a triple in the corner from Clairee Putnam gave Saint Anselm its largest lead of the game at 41-33. Stonehill slowly chipped away and a Nicole Rojas jumper pulled the Skyhawks back to 43-41, but Caitlyn Abela canned a three-pointer to give the Hawks a 46-41 lead after three quarters.
The two teams battled back-and-forth as Stonehill pulled ahead 48-47 with 6:23 to play before Candace Andrews connected on a jumper to put Saint Anselm back in front 51-48 nearly a minute later. Sara Messler kept it a three-point advantage for the Hawks with a score inside, but Nicole Rojas eventually gave Stonehill a 56-55 lead at the 2:39 mark.
Andrews answered a layup from Samantha Hyslip to keep it a one-point game with 1:25 remaining, and after a stop on defense, Andrews slipped a pass to Messler for a layup that put the Hawks in front 59-58 with 44 seconds remaining.
Saint Anselm forced a turnover on the next Stonehill possession, but the Hawks gave the ball right back on their possession as the Skyhawks called timeout and advanced the ball with 16 seconds to play. Stonehill drew up a play that led to an open look for Shaw in the corner that she missed short, but she followed her shot and laid in the offensive rebound to put Stonehill ahead for good.
Saint Anselm had one final chance as Andrews took the inbounds pass and pulled up near the free throw line, but her jumper missed its mark and Rojas grabbed the rebound to secure the win.
The Hawks shot 40.3% (25-of-62) from the field and held Stonehill to 36.5% (23-of-63) shooting in the game. The Skyhawks won the rebounding battle, 39-37, while the Hawks committed 14 turnovers to 15 for Stonehill.
The Hawks drop to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the NE-10 with the setback, while Stonehill improves to 3-3 and 2-1 in league games. Saint Anselm is back in action Wednesday night when they host No. 1 Bentley University in a 5:30 p.m. matchup.
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