Purple Knights fall by 69-68 count on late hoop in back-and-forth affair at AIC

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - During a game that neither team led by more than six points, the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team suffered a 69-68 overtime loss on Saturday at American International College in Butova Gymnasium. The teams played through 13 ties and 13 lead changes, as the Purple Knights slipped to 5-10 overall and 3-8 in the Northeast-10 Conference while their three-game win streak ended. AIC is 8-7 and 5-6.

Junior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) collected 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting while hauling in a career-high 17 points for Saint Michael's, and senior Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) turned in her eighth 20-point game, notching 20 on 4-of-6 shooting and an 11-of-16 showing at the foul line. She added nine rebounds. Classmate Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) tacked on nine points and six rebounds, and first-year Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) canned three three-pointers en route to nine points. Saint Michael's recorded 18 field goals while shooting 25-of-36 on free throws.

Sophomore Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) had 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for AIC, and first-year Sydney Tepley (Racine, Wis./Saint Catherine's) also totaled 14 points and 10 boards. Sophomore Alyssa Roach (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) notched 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while first-year Ebony Easter (San Antonio, Texas/Sandra Day O'Connor) matched her with 13 points.

Saint Michael's went 0-for-2 from the floor in overtime, with both attempts coming from three-point range, but turned in a 13-of-16 showing at the charity stripe. A pair of freebies by Long at 1:50 capped a 7-0 run and gave the visitors a 63-57 edge, the largest lead by either team in the game, and the Purple Knights still led 64-60 with less than a minute remaining. However, Roach made a bucket while being fouled, grabbed the rebound of her missed free throw and dropped in the tying hoop at 51 seconds.

Saint Michael's twice took a two-point lead in the final 31 seconds, including when first-year Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) knocked down two free throws with 12 ticks remaining to make it 68-66, but junior Sarah Noble (Windsor, Ontario/Holy Names) knocked down a three-pointer for AIC with five seconds left. The Purple Knights turned the ball over on their final possession.

In the second half, neither team led by more than three points until Long scored the final five points of an 8-0 run to produce a 49-44 Purple Knight edge with 1:50 remaining. With her team down five and fewer than 30 seconds left, Ferrentino had four points in a 5-0 run that took 15 seconds to elapse, knotting the game at 55 on a hoop with 14 ticks to go. Saint Michael's had a pair of winning attempts go unanswered just before the buzzer.

AIC used a 7-0 run early in the game to take a 7-3 lead before the Purple Knights later put together a 9-2 stretch, and the visitors finished the half on a 10-3 run to claim a 27-23 edge at the half.

Saint Michael's heads to the University of New Haven on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. game.

The Edmundite Catholic Liberal Arts College