COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College women's basketball senior Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) fell one rebound short of a triple-double, and the short-handed Purple Knights avenged an earlier loss this season to Franklin Pierce University by rallying for a 73-59 victory on Saturday in the Ross Sports Center.
Thanks to their seventh win in 10 games, Saint Michael's is 9-12 overall and 7-10 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Ravens are 14-7 and 11-5 after notching a 75-72 win against the Purple and Gold on Jan. 6 in Rindge, N.H. The Purple Knights' triumph also snapped an 11-game series losing streak, as they won for the first time since Nov. 17, 2006.
Olsen finished with 19 points, a career-high 10 assists, nine rebounds and five steals for Saint Michael's, which was playing without its leaders in assists and rebounding. In her first collegiate start, first-year Theresa Carey (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Hampton Bays) netted a season-high 14 points behind 3-of-3 three-point shooting after entering the game with eight points in 14 contests. Senior Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, moving within 27 points of becoming the 20th Purple Knight with 1,000 in a career. First-year Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) notched 10 points, and senior Kayla Carnell (Burlington, Mass./Burlington) met her career high with eight points during her first college start.
First-year Kara Charette (Fairhaven, Mass./Fairhaven) led the Ravens with 12 points and five rebounds, while senior Tiffany Johnson (Saint Albans, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) had 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals. Junior Brittany Martelle (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) added 11 points and three helpers off the bench.
The Purple Knights trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before shooting 55.6 percent in the second stanza, and holding the Ravens to 24.0 percent shooting, while outscoring the visitors, 41-23. Down by a 44-38 count with a little more than 15 minutes remaining in the contest, Saint Michael's went on an 18-3 run and never again trailed. Olsen knocked down a jumper before assisting first-year Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) for a pair of three-pointers 33 seconds apart, with Gaudreau's second triple putting the hosts ahead to stay, 46-44, at 13:49.
In a six-point game with less than 9:30 left, senior Rachele Bernache's (Rockland, Mass./Rockland) offensive board and dish to Olsen for a triple capped the big run, making it 56-47. After Martelle hit a three to bring her team within six at 7:47, Burud's three-point play sparked a 6-0 jaunt, and the Purple Knights never again led by fewer than eight.
Adach's hoop at 16:13 of the opening half gave the hosts a 7-5 edge before the Ravens scored eight straight points, with Martelle dropping in consecutive lay-ups to cap the run. The Purple Knights twice drew within three before Franklin Pierce extended its lead to 11 points on four occasions, including on a Martelle bucket at 3:50 that made it 34-23. Saint Michael's responded with a 13-3 run that bridged halftime, with Olsen netting five points. Burud knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:04 left to create a 36-32 halftime margin, and Adach's bucket at 17:25 of the second stanza pulled her team within 37-36 before Franklin Pierce pushed its advantage back out to six.
The Purple Knights are back in action on Tuesday at No. 2 Bentley University at 5:30 p.m. The undefeated Falcons are ranked by USA TODAY.