GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - Junior Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) scored six of her career-high 24 points in the final 3:20, including netting the tie-breaking basket, to help the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team down defending Northeast-10 Conference Championship titlist Adelphi University, 62-59, on Saturday at the Center for Recreation and Sports. The Purple Knights are 6-10 overall and 3-8 in the league, while the Panthers, who also advanced to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, slipped to 9-9 and 5-5.
Delaney, who had twice scored 21 points in a game, shot 12-of-16 in 28 minutes, netting all of her points on two-point field goals. She added seven rebounds to become the 22nd Purple Knight with 500 for a career, pushing her total to 505 boards in 68 contests. Junior Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) added nine points, seven rebounds, a career-high-tying seven steals - all in the first half - four offensive boards and two assists. Sophomore Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) handed out a career-best 10 assists, the most by a Purple Knight since Megan Olsen '13 had that many on Feb. 9, 2013.
Senior Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) added seven points and four assists, and redshirt first-year Casey Evans (Londonderry, N.H./Saint Andrew's School) hauled in five rebounds during 12 bench minutes. Saint Michael's snapped a four-game series losing streak, downing Adelphi for the first time since Jan. 12, 2013, and earning its initial road win in the series since Jan. 30, 2010.
The Panthers, who had won four of their past five games, saw four players score in double figures. Junior Niajah Morgan recorded 16 points, sophomore Fallyn Stephens had 15 on 4-of-10 three-point shooting, while first-year Emily Miccile added 12. Senior Simone Hodby contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Neither team led by more than three points in the fourth quarter. Delaney buckets produced three-point Purple Knight edges on three occasions, including at 54-51 with 7:14 to go, but Hobdy knocked down a jumper 22 seconds later before first-year Katie Murphy split two free throws at 3:49 to tie the game at 54. With 3:20 left, Spencer fed Delaney for a lay-in, and the duo teamed up again with 2:29 to go, as Delaney pushed the lead to 58-54. Purcell found Delaney for another lay-up at 54 seconds, extending the advantage to 61-56. Stephens buried a three 11 seconds later, and Adelphi possessed three times in the final 21 seconds but was unable to draw even, including as the Purple Knights drew an offensive foul with two ticks to go. After Purcell later made one freebie to give her team a 62-59 edge, Morgan rebounded a miss but the Panthers were unable to release a tying three-point try.
The Purple Knights trailed 5-2 before scoring 13 of the next 18 points, as Delaney notched four points and an assist. First-year Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep) hit a tie-breaking three with 2:07 to go in the first quarter, and Delaney pushed the lead to 15-10 28 seconds later. The run ultimately extended to 24-7, with Purcell feeding Delaney and sophomore Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) for the first two buckets of the second quarter before Ferreri picked up a steal and an ensuing lay-up three times in 33 seconds to cap the stretch, making it 26-12 by the time 4:48 remained.
Adelphi scored the next six points to draw within single digits, but Spencer hit a three off of Ferreri's pass before Ferreri notched another takeaway that led to her own bucket at 2:11. Anderson's triple with 1:40 remaining made it 34-19, and five straight Panther points were met by Delaney's lay-in with 53 seconds left. The visitors took a 36-24 lead into the locker room after shooting 47.1 percent from the floor, including 3-of-7 on threes, while limiting Adelphi to 33.3 percent shooting, including 2-of-10 from deep. The Purple Knights forced 12 turnovers.
Saint Michael's never lost the lead in the third period, but the Panthers crept within a single point at one juncture. Morgan scored four points in a 6-0 run that started the frame, but senior Maddy Bennett (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) netted three of the next five to make it 41-30, with Purcell handing out two assists in that time. Adelphi responded with 12 of the next 14 points to create a 43-42 margin on Murphy's three at 1:49. Purcell had three points in a 5-0 run, but Stephens drained a three with five seconds to go, and Adelphi trailed 48-45 after three.
The Purple Knights host their next two games, first taking on Pace University next Saturday at 1:30 p.m.