COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team stood even with nationally-regarded Assumption College with less than seven minutes remaining before the Greyhounds pulled away for a 57-51 Northeast-10 Conference victory on Tuesday at Ross Sports Center. After the defeat, the Purple Knights drop to 7-11 overall and 5-9 in the league, while Assumption, which is receiving votes in this week's USA TODAY national poll, improves to 13-5 and 10-4.
Junior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) scored a career-best 25 points, including a 10-for-13 showing from the field, while grabbing 10 rebounds to notch her third double-double of the season for Saint Michael's. Senior Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 free throw shooting, five boards, three assists, three steals and two blocks, and first-year Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) netted eight points and controlled five rebounds. Junior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) totaled six rebounds and a pair of steals.
Senior Sabrina Siciliano (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield-Warde) paced Assumption with 16 points while also tallying seven rebounds and five steals. Classmate Gabrielle Gibson (Amityville, N.Y./Copiague) contributed 14 points and eight boards, while senior Katy Howard (Medway, Mass./Medway) added 10 points. Junior Jamie Insel (Clinton, N.J./Voorhees) finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
Long netted six of the Purple Knights' first eight points during the game's opening 6:14, with the hosts trailing 9-8. The Greyhounds scored 11 of the next 15 points to take a 20-12 advantage with 8:25 remaining before Long's lay-in capped a 12-3 Saint Michael's run with 14 ticks remaining. The Purple Knights forced a turnover with two seconds to play to take a 24-23 lead into the locker room.
Siciliano converted a lay-up 1:42 into the second frame to put her team ahead, 25-24, before there were three more lead changes during an ensuing 2:47 span. Following ties at 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40, Assumption went on an 8-0 run to move in front by eight with 5:06 to play. Saint Michael's answered with a 7-2 run to pull back to within three with 1:45 remaining in the game. The visitors hit five free throws in a 33-second span to increase their lead to eight before a basket by Burud made the score 55-49 with 27 seconds left. Each team scored two more points in final 22 seconds.
Saint Michael's is back in action on Saturday, when it travels to face Le Moyne College for a 1 p.m. tilt.