SPARKILL, N.Y. - Behind a 27-6 fourth-quarter surge, the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team opened its season with a 72-62 victory against Mercy (N.Y.) College on Friday evening during the Saint Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) College Tip-Off Classic at Aquinas Hall.
- Saint Michael's (1-0), Mercy (0-1)
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- Senior Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East), 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 9-for-15 field goals
- Senior Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes), 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists
- Junior Cassandra Falone (Chatham, N.J./Chatham), 13 points (career high), 7 rebounds (career high), 3-of-8 three-pointers
- Junior Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford), 11 points, 10 assists (tied career high), 5 rebounds, 2 steals
- Junior Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth), 7 rebounds, 5 blocks (tied career high)
- Junior Alyssa Breunig (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull), 2 blocks
- Sophomore Amber Brown, 21 points, 6 rebounds
- First-year Taysha Bender, 13 points, 3 steals
- Junior Destinee Hall, 12 points, 8 rebounds
- Season opener for Saint Michael's.
- Purple Knights held a 50-37 rebounding advantage and 40-22 scoring edge in the paint while shooting 14-of-17 on free throws.
- Saint Michael's shot 8-for-16 - including 3-of-4 from three-point range - during the fourth quarter to Mercy's 2-of-16 showing.
- Saint Michael's leads the series 3-1, having met Mercy for the first time since Nov. 28, 2007.
- Delaney pushed her career rebound total to 582, passing Erica Kensey '04 (576) and Lynne Liebhauser '94 (581) to take over 14th in program history.
- The teams played through six lead changes in the opening period. Brown's lay-in gave Mercy a quarter-best 16-10 advantage at 4:07 before Ferreri scored five straight points and redshirt sophomore Casey Evans (Londonderry, N.H./Saint Andrew's School) capped the go-ahead 7-0 run with a jumper at 2:35. The next two buckets came from Mercy, but Delaney dropped in a lay-up at 28 ticks to send her team into the first break down 20-19.
- Ferreri's triple at 7:12 of the second quarter kept Saint Michael's within 26-24, and her lay-in made it 29-26 at 3:55. The Mavericks outscored the Purple Knights by a 9-2 margin from there, as Brown scored the next seven points, and Mercy led 38-28 at halftime.
- Bender's triple made it 43-32 at 8:08 of the third quarter before Miller's jumper capped an 8-0 Purple and Gold run and trimmed the deficit to three, but Mercy exited the period up 11 once again, at 56-45, thanks to Hall's lay-in with 31 ticks to go.
- Saint Michael's began the final frame with a go-ahead 14-2 run, as Falone netted eight of those points.
- The fifth lead change in a matter of 2:10 came when Delaney knocked down a jumper at 1:41, sparking a game-ending 11-0 run. Falone buried a three with 46 seconds left that pushed the lead to 66-62, and Saint Michael's shot 6-of-6 on free throws in the final 30 seconds.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Saturday at regionally-ranked Saint Thomas Aquinas, 3 p.m.
- Contest will be on day two of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Tip-Off Classic.
- The Spartans won the 2018 East Coast Conference (ECC) Tournament and advanced to the regional semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Saint Thomas Aquinas is sixth in the latest D2SIDA East Region Media Poll.