No. 9/10 women's basketball eases past Saint Michael's, 79-62

No. 9/10 women's basketball eases past Saint Michael's, 79-62

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) of the Saint Anselm College women's basketball team matched career-high marks in points (31) and rebounds (21) to help her team to a 79-62 victory over Saint Michael's College on Wednesday.

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The Hawks, ranked ninth nationally in NCAA Division II, improve to 3-0 on the season while winning their home and Northeast-10 Conference opener. Saint Michael's drops its first game in three tries this season, falling to 0-1 against the league.

Ryan has now scored a career-high 31 points on four occasions and her 21 rebounds, also a career-best figure, were reached for the first time since Mar. 3, 2019 at Adelphi in the opening round of the NE10 postseason tournament. She also logged two blocks in the victory, shooting 13-for-19 from the floor.

Ryan exited play with over 1,200 career points and over 750 career rebounds, passing Liz Pelletier '87 for 12th place all-time in team history with 1,214 points scored on the Hilltop. Her 752 career rebounds moves her to eighth all-time in program history, passing Kaila Duarte '17 and her total of 741.

Freshman Macy Spinks (Luton, England) handed out 11 assists for Saint Anselm, reaching that threshold to become the first student-athlete to do so since Candace Andrews '17 handed out 13 assists against Southern New Hampshire on Feb. 21, 2017. She also logged her first career double-double, scoring 14 points to rank second on the Hawks.

Junior Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) reached 16 points with eight free throws and two three-point baskets. She also locked down seven rebounds for the Hawks, including three on the offensive glass, and reached 700-plus points in a Hawks uniform.

Saint Anselm opened the game on a 17-5 scoring run that saw four Hawks point-getters in the opening 5:42. The Purple Knights responded with a 17-9 scoring spurt of their own, shrinking the Hawks lead to 26-22 with 6:42 to go in the first half, but the Hawks recreated a double-digit point lead to end the first half of play.

In the third quarter, the Hawks opened by scoring 13 of the game's first 15 points, including two fast-break layups by senior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) that keyed the strong opening minutes of the second half.

Saint Michael's reduced Saint Anselm's lead to 11 points, but the Hawks maintained the advantage to end regulation. The Hawks were outscored in the fourth quarter by a 16-to-15 margin, but Ryan's eight points and seven rebounds kept Saint Michael's in a double-digit deficit.

The Purple Knights' Brianna Purcell, the reigning U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Division II National Player of the Week, nearly logged a triple-double with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

The Hawks handed out 22 assists and committed only 10 miscues while the Purple Knights were outrebounded (48-to-41) and committed 12 turnovers.