WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team trailed by two points early in the second half before falling to nationally-regarded University of New Haven, 77-52, on Tuesday in Charger Gymnasium during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights are 7-7 overall and 2-7 in the league, while the Chargers, who received votes toward this week's USA TODAY national poll and qualified for the 2014 NCAA Tournament, are 13-2 and 7-2.
Junior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) was 4-for-4 on free throws and sank a trio of three-pointers as part of her 19-point day for Saint Michael's, adding seven rebounds, while sophomore Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) provided 10 points and three steals. Senior Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) had seven points, while classmate Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) grabbed seven boards and collected two steals. First-year Lyric Blanch (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) contributed six points and three steals.
Senior Aquillin Hayes (Harlem, N.Y./Wings Academy) shot 11-of-14 for 27 points and 10 rebounds while collecting a pair of steals for New Haven, and junior Briana Bradford (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) chipped in 14 points off the bench. Junior Lauren Hebert (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) had eight points and seven boards.
Saint Michael's grabbed an opening 3-2 lead just 53 seconds into play on Burud's three-pointer before New Haven scored the next six points, with three players tallying. The Purple Knights still trailed 10-5 before receiving five straight points by Evora, including on a tying lay-up at 14:01 after she picked up a steal. Four New Haven points were met by a 13-4 run from Saint Michael's. Junior Megan Gaudreau's (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) three-pointer at 11:12 gave the visitors an 15-14 edge as the first of three lead changes in 1:09, and Burud hit two free throws before draining back-to-back three-pointers 34 seconds apart to give Saint Michael's a 23-18 advantage at 8:29. Burud eventually scored her team's final 12 first-half points, and all of 14 the Purple Knights' points during a 10:55 span that bridged halftime. The Chargers rallied with a 14-2 spurt, with Hayes scoring seven points. Burud nailed two free throws at 2:55 to cut the hole to five, but the hosts established a 34-27 lead at halftime.
The Purple Knights opened the second half with five unanswered points in 1:51, cutting the deficit to as little as 34-32 on Frappier's three-point play, before the Chargers reeled off 37 of the ensuing 46 points. After New Haven scored nine straight points to take a 43-32 lead at 3:57, Saint Michael's crept within seven on consecutive hoops from Burud and Gaudreau. However, New Haven surged out on a 28-5 run over a 9:07 span paced by Bradford and Hayes, who both poured in 10 points. The Purple and Gold ended the game on an 11-6 run, as Evora provided five points.
The Purple Knights return home for the first time this semester when they host Southern Connecticut State University at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.